in a column in Watchman Author Kim Hickox writes that nearly one million square kilometers of the Amazon have been destroyed since 1988.
That’s the equivalent of an area the size of Texas and New Mexico combined, according to the author — and that equates to about 200,000 acres per day, or 40 football fields per minute, he continues.
He also wrote that “the rainforest is dying” and that “it will soon be too late.”
Rainforest Fund Secretary General Torres Jaeger can’t confirm the numbers Heacox mentioned in the article, as the numbers he’s working on vary, but the author clearly shares his concern.
Simply put, one-third of the rainforests that once existed are gone. A third is intact, and a third is decomposed – that is, it is not completely destroyed, but is under attack, Jæger tells Dagbladet.
So the situation for rainforests is precarious. The world must now contend with two major and protracted crises; Climate crisis and biodiversity crisis. And no matter what we do, everything else will be too small and in vain if we don’t save the rainforests, he continues.
near the tipping point
He says it works with so-called tipping points when the rainforest crosses a critical boundary when it can no longer sustain itself.
For the eastern parts of the Amazon, particularly the eastern part of Brazil, confirms new search That tipping point was reached when between 20 and 25 percent disappeared. Now you’re at 18 percent, says Jæger.
From August last year to July this year alone, 8793.6 square kilometers were lost in the Amazon, according to the Brazilian research institute INPE.
It is a recent recognition of the need to protect the rainforest. It’s a global public interest, and what happens to the rainforest matters to all of us, says Jæger.
The Secretary-General continues that the rainforest acts as a carbon store.
As of today, rainforests absorb and store large amounts of carbon. When rainforests are cut down and burned, the carbon stored there will rise into the atmosphere, he says.
The third factor here is that increased climate emissions contribute to more droughts, which in turn attack rainforests with fires, Jæger continues.
He says that a healthy rainforest will not burn, because it has its own rain system.
“Now, however, we’re seeing an increasing number and extent of fires because the forest is drier — especially in areas where infrastructure has been built in all the marginal areas,” he says.
Agriculture is another threat to the rainforest, says Jæger.
Agriculture, whether for livestock, soybean and palm oil are the main causes of deforestation, he says.
– He must act now
In Brazil in particular, the rainforest protection system has been significantly weakened, according to the Secretary-General.
– President Jair Bolsonaro has come up with a specific agenda for the use of the rainforest, and there are now a large number of proposals for a remedy in the country that would weaken the rights of the indigenous people who are entitled to a large part of the Amazon, while at the same time providing companies that operate or will operate Subject to Amazon’s reduced environmental requirements.
– That makes me very anxious, says Jæger
At the same time, we know that politics works, that is, when the government comes with the goal of protecting the forest, you can achieve it. He says it’s not that all hope is gone, but we should move now.
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