Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Amazon's future and deforestation problem

Deforestation of Amazon rainforest is one of the most serious ecological problems of the modern world. Tropical rainforests play important role in enabling life on our planet and they need to be preserved.

According to to the worst predictions if the current rate of deforestation continues, 40% of the Amazon forest will be gone by the year 2050. Such high percentage would cause ecological disaster and its impact on global warming could be devastating. Therefore something must be done to slow down current deforestation rates.

Unfortunately deforestation is connected with many different economic factors; for instance high prices of food and commodities are causing need for cheap land, mostly
to create cattle pasture, which is by the latest data responsible for almost 75 % of the deforestation in the Amazon (Brazil is the world's leading beef exporting country). And since the land in Amazon is about 10 times cheaper than in many other parts of Brazil, cattle pasture has in last few years expand rapidly in the Amazon.

Illegal logging is taking place on daily basis and government actions (like
the large police operation in February) produced very little success, if any. This is mostly because of the frauds in land registry system and inefficient policy of collecting fines for deforestation, where fines have only psychological and symbolical impact, since they are almost never collected.

Without some economic incentives for people that live and work in the Amazon little can be done to slow down current deforestation rates. There simply has to be new governmental policy that would mean completely new level of
environmental sustainability, where agriculture needs would be compensated with certain funds so that local population do not deforest. This possible new solution will have its first big test in the state of Amazonas, where authorities are launching a scheme, where in return for around $30 a month, families are asked to protect the environment and endangered animals and fish, and not to sell wood. This concept looks to be very interesting and it perhaps even holds the key on how to connect economic development with environmentalism.

The future of Amazon rainforest depends mostly on ability to connect economic development with environmentalism

What ever the solution, it has to be quick solution, because at
the very best with good projects to reduce deforestation and paying people not to cut forest, Brazil might be able to keep the loss of Amazon rainforest down to 20%. And since 65 % of the Amazon rainforest lies on the Brazilian territory, Brazilian government must lead the way. Otherwise, future Amazon scenarios might end up as horror movies.

No comments:

Post a Comment