قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / World / The Amazon is burning. But another part of Brazil is destroyed faster

The Amazon is burning. But another part of Brazil is destroyed faster



But just miles away, another part of Brazil, home to 5% of the planet's plants and animals, and its own carbon reservoir, is being destroyed faster.

The Brazilian Cerrado – a "mosaic" habitat of savanna, grassland and forest – is the region with the highest biodiversity worldwide with an area of ​​around 200 million hectares.

"It is estimated that the biome hosts 837 species of birds, 120 reptiles, 150 amphibians, 1,200,000 fish, 90,000 insects and 199 mammal species," said Mercedes Bustamante, a biologist at the University of Brazil opposite CNN.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, more than 4,800 endemic species – including giant otters, tapirs, and jaguars ̵

1; and more than 11,000 plant species found in cerrado, almost half of them are nowhere else on Earth.

The Cerrado is half the size of the Amazon and 50% deforested, according to Edegar de Oliveira Rosa, director of ecosystem conservation and restoration at WWF Brazil. "We lose about 700,000 hectares a year," he told CNN.

As in the Amazon, Cerrado habitats are being cleared due to the global demand for meat – to make room for livestock farms and later turn them into soya is used to feed cattle or exported to other parts of the world.

Deforestation is not new and not only in Brazil. But with global demand for meat rising and China turning to Brazil in the US trade wars to deliver soybeans, experts fear that the agriboom will cost Brazil's habitats like the Cerrado.

  Aerial view of a native Cerrado savanna in Formosa do Rio Preto, West Bahia state.

An analysis of TRASE, an initiative that tracks transparency in commodity supply chains, found that in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, 2018 would account for 50% of global soybean production instead of 3% % were achieved half a century ago 19659002.

"Over the last 10 years, soybean expansion in Brazil has occurred almost exclusively at Cerrado," said Toby Gardner, director of TRASE, to CNN. "There really is not much left of Cerrado," he added.

The area is less protected than the Amazon, where, according to de Oliviera Rosa, about 50% of the country remains protected. In contrast, added de Oliviera Rosa, about 8% of Cerrado are protected.

"In absolute terms, roughly the same area was cleared, but in relative terms the Cerrado is much more threatened, with more than three times more losses than the Amazon," Gardner told CNN.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's office declined to comment and referred CNN to the Ministry of the Environment. The local officials did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

  Agricultural fields in Formosa do Rio Preto, state of Western Bahia. The native vegetation is often cleared for agriculture and soybean plants.

"Climate has no limits"

Habitat destruction is also bad news for climate change: According to WWF, the Cerrado blocks a "deception" of a large amount of carbon in its deep root systems.

"It is a forest in a different way – it's a backwoods forest because much of the biomass is underground, "said de Oliviera Rosa to CNN.

In a recent report, Greenpeace suggested that the region's remaining primitive vegetation had a 13.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent carbon storage.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that while forests are important carbon sinks, their ability to bind carbon could continue to decrease depending on human actions.

Deforestation and agriculture are driving global warming by weakening the country's ability Extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases Cutting down and burning forests for growing crops is contributing to the climate crisis that affects us all, "said Daniela Montalto, a forest campaigner for Greenpeace, to CNN.

  Herbicide sprayed on a soybean field in the Cerrado plain near Campo Verde. State of Mato Grosso. The neighboring Pantanal area, a biodiversity reserve, is currently threatened by intense cultivation of soybeans and deforestation, scientists said.

Water resources also suffer; According to the WWF, six of the twelve largest hydrological regions in Brazil begin in Cerrado.

"The Amazon rainforest has been firmly anchored in the psyche of many people for decades, and rightly so – it suffers from a desperate plight of its own," Gardner told CNN.

"But there are other ecosystems that are disappearing, and we learn what is too late."

CNN's Isabelle Gerretsen contributed to this report.


Source link