Satellite imagery by space research agency INPE showed a stark surge in deforestation this past April 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak—a 0 increase in comparison to last year. Overall, since the beginning of 2020 the Amazon has endured a 55% increase in deforestation compared to last year. Lest we forget 2019 was already the worst year for the world’s largest living ecosystem—reaching record numbers. Environmentalists worldwide scramble to highlight the importance of conserving the Amazon, knowing it has most likely already reached its tipping point. However, let’s not lose hope yet.
The reason for the surge?
The reason is two-fold. Firstly, the right-wing policies of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro encourage miners and farmers into the region. Bolsonaro claims that the only way to lift Amazonia from poverty is through development. Political support has sparked interest in the region, with new waves of immigrants flocking to the area. Secondly, Brazil’s environmental agency: Ibama, has been sending fewer field agents during the coronavirus outbreak that usually patrol the areas.
“Barreto and other environmentalists, including Greenpeace, said the surge was already underway last year due to government steps that encouraged illegal logging, in particular a decree now before Congress that could give title to land grabbers who invaded public and indigenous lands.” – Reuters
No Forest, No Future
The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s mother rainforest. She produces RAIN for the continent, just think about it for a minute. Destroying this rainforest means destroying our entire rain cycle which will have dire consequences on the world’s food system to say the least. That’s not all, the Amazon is millions of years old, hosting unparalleled biodiversity, an attribute that helps us to this day discover new medicines and proudly claim that we live in a biodiverse planet. This should also make us realize that it is not easily replanted. It took 55 million years for the Amazon to get to the point at which it is today.
In a decade where politicians pledge to “plant more trees” should we not strive to protect existing forests instead? When the world’s Sixth Mass Extinction is underway, shouldn’t we conserve the most biodiverse habitat that blesses our Earth? Yes these are bold and pretty obvious questions…So in the meantime join The Resistance.
A force of people who are genuinely worried about the Brazilian government’s shortcomings and the current mining crusade in the forest. Based worldwide The Resistance aims to provide assistance to Brazil’s mightiest fighters. From legal assistance to worldwide campaigning and financial support. Join here.
Article By: Isabella Cavalletti