In a new report published this week, the deforestation rate in the Amazon Rainforest has increased by 33% for the first ten months of the year compared to the same time period last year. This makes it the worst year in history.
In total, the Amazon lost 2.4 million acres of forest over the last ten months (January-October). This information was collected via satellite and was then compared to similar information from 2020.
This raises serious concerns if Brazil will actually follow through with its pledge to end deforestation alongside other world leaders.
Why Is Deforestation In the Amazon Still Ramping Up?
There are a few reasons why this is happening, and it may continue for some time.
The first is the ability to actually respond to illegal logging. The global pandemic has impacted conservation efforts around the world. In many cases, severely limiting the budget of such organizations, which results in fewer personnel.
The second, and possibly most impactful, are the fires. The fires in the Amazon are nothing new, but play a huge role in the deforestation rate. Many are intentionally set by farmers and ranchers to clear land.
In fact, there’s actually a connection between groceries in the UK and deforestation in the Amazon.
And one of the other major problems has been the Brazillian government’s attitude towards the Amazon. The current president, Jair Bolsonaro, was quite open to not caring about the Amazon region. That messaging has changed, though, as the country has come under criticism.
Yet, it made both illegal loggers and farmers more willing to destroy the forest.
It Actually Makes the Amazon A Carbon Emitter
The Amazon Rainforest is huge, and many refer to it as the lungs of the planet. Yet, new data suggests it may be emitting more than it absorbs.
Long story short, as the Amazon begins to shrink, due to deforestation, the amount of carbon emitted from those fires is exceeding what the forest actually absorbs. Thus, the forest becomes an emitter.
Obviously, if the forest had more protection, this wouldn’t happen. Instead, the forest would be one of the greatest ways to fight climate change.
Yet, here we are.
Alarming News Or Expected?
Now anyone who has paid attention to the Amazon Rainforest for the past several years won’t be shocked by this news. In fact, it’s sadly what most expect to hear. What might raise some eyebrows is that Brazil just signed a new agreement to end this behavior.
While the pledge Brazil made was to end or reverse deforestation by 2030, they actually agreed to do it earlier, by 2028.
Yet, with reports like this, it’s hard to imagine the country changing so much in just 7 years. In fairness, they might be unveiling a new plan to turn this around, but you can’t blame people for being skeptical.
At the same point, having the country commit to ending it is a step in the right direction. Now we just need to see some action.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.