Brazil’s fight against deforestation

The Amazon rainforest is considered to be the largest rainforest in the world spread over 6 lakhs sq. km it contributes to more than half of the forests present in the world. Home to a variety of species of animals like the Amazon River dolphin, the Howler monkey and many other rare and endangered species. It also hosts the most beautiful and diverse flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere on the planet except here.

The Amazon currently lies in almost nine different countries, but a major part of it is situated in Brazil. It is the home of over 2 million insect species and thousands of varieties of plants and at least 1000 different species of mammals and birds. It is considered a haven for several thousands of migratory birds that reside in these thick rainforests.

During the pre-Columbian period, parts of the forest were highly populated solely for agriculture. Once the Europeans arrived in the 16th century, the hunt began for Gold and rubber. But later on, these settlements were abandoned due to famines and some slavery revolts. The Amazon has not only been home to flora and fauna and several other species, but it has also provided immense support and resources for the local tribes to sustain their lives in the forest.

Presently, environmentalists are severely concerned about the future of the Amazon rainforest. They are concerned about the loss of biodiversity that might occur due to deforestation. Due to deforestation, there might also be a huge imbalance in the carbon cycle which could lead to severe issues.

Deforestation has increased exponentially over the past few years; we have witnessed the most amount of deforestation this month over the past 12 years. Deforestation mainly occurs due to many factors like exploitation of resources, cattle grazing, agriculture and many others.

Well according to a paper published by the World bank in 2004 the cattle sector which contributed towards beef and leather industries contributed to over 80% of the deforestation caused. In the year 2019, a devastating forest fire lasted for over half a year shrinking the forest cover by around 1300 To add on to this in the year 2020 deforestation caused rose by almost 50% in the first three months.

In efforts to curb the rates at which deforestation is occurring the President of Brazil has ordered troops into the forest to protect the forest by preventing illegal activities like mining and slaughtering of wild animals. This action was forced onto the president after the severe surge in deforestation and criticism from numerous international organizations and media houses.  

The move from the President was applaudable but did not contain any details on the number of troops sent into the forest or the target they intend to achieve in this fight against deforestation. Moreover, it is immensely important to note that a move has been taken to control deforestation.

The Vice President stated that the operation will be kept active for two months since the current season in the Amazon is very dry and allows easy mobility into the forests. The government’s main intention is to take control over the illegal activities occurring in the rainforest and help make the forest a haven for the species dependent on it.

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