HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Deforestation in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest increased almost 60 percent in the last year

By Ignacio Amigo, mongabay.com

172 days ago   Article ID# 4194374
Original URL

 

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA (mongabay.com) - On May 29 the NGO SOS Mata Atlântica and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais released their annual report on the Atlantic Forest with some worrying results. The report shows that between 2015 and 2016, more than 29,000 hectares (71,660 acres) of native forests were lost. That’s a 57.7 percent increase over the previous year.

The study is based on satellite images from the 17 Brazilian states that are home to Atlantic Forest extensions. The methodology used allowed for the exclusion of industrial plantations, such as eucalyptus monocultures, which occupy long extensions of the Atlantic Forest area, as well as to identify losses as small as three hectares.

Almost three quarters of Brazil’s population live in the Atlantic Forest area. Centuries of colonization and development have dramatically reduced its range, which today extends over less than 15 percent of its original extension. Despite this, it is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, and hosts many endemic and endangered species.

SOS Mata Atlântica has been monitoring the Atlantic Forest since 1985. Over that period more than 1.9 million hectares of forests have disappeared. Reports were initially published every five years but since 2011 they became annual. Compared to the historical series, this years’ figures are the worst of the decade.

—An uneven situation

Although all but one of the 17 states showed some degree of deforestation, four of them accounted for 90 percent of all losses.

With more than 12,000 hectares cleared and four of the top five municipalities with the highest losses, Bahia was the most affected state. Minas Gerais, the state that had topped the list in the nine last reports, came out second this time with 7,410 deforested hectares. These two states combined were responsible for 68 percent of this year’s deforestation.

The figures are also worrying in the state of Paraná, third on the list, which lost 3,453 hectares of forests, a 74 percent increase over last year. Most of the losses were in the region that hosts the last forests of Paraná pine (Araucaria angustifolia), a tree species listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered.

The state of Piauí, with 3,125 hectares, ranked fourth, while the rest of states registered losses below 1,000 hectares.

—Causes

In 2015, the Environment Secretaries of the 17 states over which the Atlantic Forest extends signed a letter in which they committed to completely abolish illegal deforestation by 2018. Although the new report does not discriminate between legal and illegal logging, Mario Mantovani, director of Public Policies at SOS Mata Atlântica, says that most of the 29,075 hectares lost are likely to be illegal.

“The Atlantic Forest is the only biome in Brazil that has a specific law, and deforestation is only allowed for public use or social interest,” Mantovani said. “If some of it is legal, it’s certainly a very small percentage.”

In the state of Minas Gerais, logging for coal and replacement of native forests with eucalyptus plantations are some of the causes of deforestation, according to the press release issued along with the report. Silviculture was also listed as an important factor of deforestation in Bahia.

Mantovani believes that recent changes in the federal legislation prompted a sense of impunity which is partly responsible for the current situation.

“Deforestation increased due to the new Forest Code, which was passed by the rural bench [the parliamentary lobbying group for agribusiness],” Montovani said. “They created a slew of mechanisms to pass amnesties, to decrease protection for watersprings and river margins…everybody thought they could do whatever they wanted in Brazil regarding deforestation.”

According to Mantovani, one of the keys to turning the situation around is to increase the involvement of the population in the management of the forest.

“According to the law, municipalities of the Atlantic Forest can create a plan to define what they want to do with their forests: promote tourism, create groundwater recharge areas for water supply, protect them,” Montivani said. “It’s a responsibility that needs to be shared.”

Copyright 2017 mongabay.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 172 days ago   Article ID# 4194374

   

View All Actions >>

Climate
Oceans
Deforestation
Pollution
Wildlife
<< Return To Environment News

Action Center

Climate change will bring more and more heat waves

Action: Climate Change

The heat in Malaysia often feels next to unbearable. For days on end, the sun is scorching and the heat is sweltering. That, ...

End Phosphate Mining in Manatee County

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The expansion of phosphate mining in Manatee County would threaten freshwater resources in the Myakka and Peace River watersh ...

Amazon basin deforestation could disrupt distant rainforest by remote climate connection

Action: Stop Deforestation

The ongoing deforestation around the fringes of the Amazon may have serious consequences for the untouched deeper parts of th ...

Stop coal mining assault on this roadless forest

Action: Stop Pollution

President Trump has been clear since day one that he’s turning over the nation’s public lands and environment to King Coa ...

Defend our wildlife from the search for Atlantic oil

Action: Save Our Oceans

From Maine to Florida, people along the East Coast strongly oppose offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean -- yet ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright The Charity Vault All rights reserved.