Emergency relief: The Amazon is burningAmazon - Brasilien
The Amazon forest, called "the lungs of the Earth", is burning up at an alarming rate in Brazil.
This year, over 70,000 fires have been detected, which is an increase of 80% for the same period in 2018. It’s the highest number of fires since the National Space Research Institute (INPE) started recording them in 2013.
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In the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, deforestation is usually part of a bigger cycle. As a general rule, valuable timber tree species are removed first which is very hard to detect via satellites. Next, deforestation takes place using chains or, in dry season, a succession of fires. When deforestation happens through correntão - a controversial technique that takes down native vegetation quickly and harms local wildlife using tractors and chains - people wait some months until the dead trees are dry enough to be fired up.
After a forest area has been cleared, cattle ranching is a quick and cheap way to establish land use. Land-grabbers “consolidate” land use by cultivating cattle which in this context, is very poorly developed and more a way to establish land use than to generate significant income. Once it is “consolidated” in some way and deforestation has expanded to further away areas, cattle ranching is usually replaced by more profitable crops such as soy.
After some years, the land-grabbers forge ownership documents and sell the land to other people. In some cases, they pressure local communities into land appropriation.
Although these activities are usually carried out on public lands that have little or no governance, the damage of the deforestation often affects local farmers as the fire used for deforestation or to manage pastures can easily spread to their land, especially in dry season.
It is, of course, important to keep in mind that not all deforestation in the Amazon is illegal and that not all current landowners are land-grabbers.
- Restore native forest
- Conserve biodiversity
- Promote economic development
- Build livelihood resilience
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Regenerate lost biodiversity in Brazil's forests, some of the worlds most biodiverse.
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