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Congo Basin: “green lung” threatened by deforestation

The second green lung on the planet is being threatened by the growing demand for food, wood, and coal, the lack of economic opportunities, and the illegal trade in species.

The giant forest is distributed in six countries: Congo Democratic Republic, Congo Republic, Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea.

“We urgently need to understand how Central African forests work to create sustainable plans that benefit communities, climate and biodiversity at the same time,” said Paolo Cerutti, one of the world’s leading experts on the subject and responsible for the Training, Research and Development Project.

There’s a vast flora that has more than 10 thousand plan species and is rich in both plant and animal biodiversity. The Congo Basin also regulates the climate and rain patterns in the world.

The main causes for the region degradation are coal production and slash and burn agriculture, followed by logging and mining.

“Normally, artisanal loggers selectively cut the trees that are of interest to the joinery and construction sectors, then the local population cuts the rest of the trees to make charcoal and, in the last stage, burns all the vegetation in the region to grow food such as manioc. Productivity is very low and the land soon runs out, which is why the cycle repeats itself elsewhere, progressively devouring the forest” explains scientist Silvia Ferrari, cited by the newspaper El Pais.

Read more: https://greensavers.sapo.pt/o-segundo-pulmao-verde-do-planeta-esta-a-ser-ameacado-pelo-desmatamento/

 

Brazil Deforestation: alerts rise to 34,5% in Amazon

According to the Space Research Institute (INPE), when comparing to last year July, there has been a big growth in the numbers of alerts in the Amazonia due to deforestation.

In the last twelve months, the number of alerts covers a total of 9.205 km2 of the world’s biggest tropical forest.

The so-called “deforestation alerts” allow that the state environmental agencies reinforce the control on those areas, monitored by satellites without indicating a specific data of loss of vegetation.

The Climate Observatory, an alliance of organizations in the Brazilian civil society that discusses climate change, criticized the government policy who believes is responsible for the fast devastation of Amazonia.

The deforestation explosion of the Amazon has an important cause the speech of the President of the Republic, which delegitimizes environmental inspection while stimulating the occupation of the region in a predatory model”, stressed Suely Araújo, senior specialist in Public Policies.

Hamilton Mourão, vice president of the country, coordinates an intergovernmental council for the Amazonia and compromised to endorse the region politics, these include the mobilization of 4.000 soldiers of the Forças Armadas, to patrol the region and contain environmental crimes.

Amazon is the biggest World’s tropical forest and owns the biggest biodiversity registered in the planet area.

Read more: https://greensavers.sapo.pt/alertas-sobre-desflorestacao-na-amazonia-sobem-345-no-brasil/

Brazil: trees for China becomes a threat to Amazon Rain Forest

 

Brazilian farmers’ slash-and-burn clearing of parts of the Amazon rain forest for agricultural purposes has become a concern for environmentalists.

Some farmers are also clearing forest areas for cattle ranching to meet China’s growing demand for beef.

China’s role in importing timber from the world’s largest tropical rain forest, a major undertaking that could result in a significant increase in carbon emissions from Latin America’s largest country. The trees are currently playing a positive role in absorbing some of the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global warming.

China is the world’s largest importer of timber, so Brazil is not the only country where timber is being extracted for Chinese usage. But Brazil has drawn attention because of the impact that a major loss of trees can have on climate change.

Gabon: balancing between a growing timber industry and the global environment

This country is located in West Africa and 80% of it is covered in tropical rainforests, this has given the country a rise on the country’s second highest export – timber.

Lee White, the country’s Minister of forests, admits that “”We produce about 500 million euros of timber exports. Our vision is to get to five billion euros over the next 6 years,” White told CNN”.

But beyond exporting large quantities of wood, Gabon wants to ensure it does not damage its rainforests and the environment while at it. In September Gabon received $150 million in international funds to preserve its rainforest.

We produce about 500 million euros of timber exports. Our vision is to get to five billion euros over the next 6 years

Back to 2010, the exportation of logs was banned as a way to protect the country’s natural resources and to prevent the waste of raw materials.

And in April, it imposed another ban on three highly priced wood species to protect its processing sector.

In June, following nearly 5000 cubic meters of illegally logged wood were found at Owendo Port in Libreville, the country’s former vice president and the former forest minister were fired.

And while it is a delicate balance protecting the country’s natural resources while boosting the economy, Gabon appears to be leading the way on the continent.