Sunday December 8, 2019
Home Lead Story Deforestation...

Deforestation In Brazil’s Cerrado Savanna Records a New Low

Ricardo Salles, Brazil's future environment minister under Bolsonaro, told Reuters on Monday that Bolsonaro would not gut resources for environmental protection

0
//
Deforestation
A flock of rheas is seen in a soybean field in the Cerrado plains near Campo Verde, Mato Grosso state, western Brazil. VOA

Deforestation in Brazil’s tropical Cerrado savanna, which makes up a quarter of the country, fell 11 percent to a record low in 2018 compared with a year earlier, the Ministry of Environment said in a statement Tuesday.

Deforestation in the South American country’s savanna biome totaled 6,657 square kilometers (2,570 square miles), an area larger than the U.S. state of Connecticut. That’s just below 6,777 square kilometers in 2016, the previous low since records began to be kept, the ministry said.

A biome is a grouping of plants and animals that have adapted to a specific environment.

This contrasts with the Amazon rainforest, making up 40 percent of Brazil, which has seen a 13.7 percent spike in deforestation this year to a 10-year high.

Deforestation
Brazil Surpasses 2020 Target to Cut Deforestation Emissions. Flickr

Activists have been concerned that deforestation could spike under policies proposed by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who assumes office Jan. 1 and has pledged to end the current “industry of fines” for environmental violations like deforestation.

The figure for Cerrado is based on the change in deforestation between August 2017 and July 2018, the period used to measure annual destruction, as recorded by Brazilian space research agency Inpe. The statement did not give a reason for the decline in deforestation.

The Cerrado’s vegetation soaks up major amounts of carbon dioxide, making its preservation key to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and for countering global warming.

Deforestation
Cerrado Plain. Flickr

While the Cerrado is less densely forested than the Amazon rainforest, its plants have deep roots that lock carbon into the ground and are sometimes referred to as an underground forest.

Also Read: Rainforests May Be Smothered Due To The Newly Elected Brazil President: Scientists

Ricardo Salles, Brazil’s future environment minister under Bolsonaro, told Reuters on Monday that Bolsonaro would not gut resources for environmental protection, contrary to the fears of environmentalists.

Money for environmental protection is spent inefficiently and mismanaged, he said, arguing he could produce better results with the same budget. (VOA)

Next Story

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Blames Leonardo DiCaprio for Amazon Forest Fires

Leonardo DiCaprio blamed for Amazon fires by Brazil President

0
President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has blamed Leonardo DiCaprio for the devastating forest fires in the Amazon. Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has blamed Hollywood’s Oscar-winning superstar Leonardo DiCaprio for the devastating forest fires in the Amazon.

DiCaprio has been accused of funding non-profit groups, which Bolsonaro feels were responsible for fires in the Amazon rainforest, reports mirror.co.uk.

The President, however, did not back his claim with any evidence.

“DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire,” President Bolsonaro said, while speaking to supporters in Brasilia.

Jair Bolsonaro blames Leonardo DiCaprio
DiCaprio has been accused of funding non-profit groups, which Jair Bolsonaro feels were responsible for fires in the Amazon rainforest. Wikimedia Commons

He made a similar claim in a Facebook live broadcast.

“Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon,” Bolsonaro accused, claiming that the actor is part of an international campaign against Brazil.

DiCaprio’s environmental organisation Earth Alliance has pledged $5 million to help protect the Amazon after a surge in fires destroyed large parts of the rainforest in July and August.

Also Read- Amazon Rainforest Fires May Increase Glacier Melting: Study

The actor-environmentalist said in a statement his group had not funded any of the two nonprofits named by the investigators so far.

“While worthy of support, we did not fund the organisations targeted,” the statement read. (IANS)