• Categories
  • Archives

In Brazil While Some Cut Deforestation Others Cut More of the Amazon

Fire in the Brazilian Amazon With the current climate talks now underway in Poznan, the Brazilian government has finally fulfilled a promise it made at the previous round of talks in Bali last year and set targets for reducing deforestation in the Amazon.

It's great to see they finally have some targets to work towards (and it's been a long time coming) but as is often the way with these political initiatives, it all falls short of what's really needed.

The targets Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has announced will gradually reduce the amount of deforestation happening in the Amazon. By 2010, he wants to cut tree trashing by 40% with further incremental steps to reach a grand reduction of 70% by 2017.

This also means Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions will go down, by as much as 72% according to the Guardian, and as the country is currently the fourth largest emitter that's not to be sniffed at. If we needed any further proof that halting deforestation is one of the quickest and most effective ways of reducing global emissions, this would be it.

On the surface, this might sound ambitious and visionary but of course even if these targets are met, they'll reduce deforestation but they won't stop it. As environment minister Carlos Minc noted, if all goes to plan then in 2017 we'll still be losing 5,000 sq km of rainforest every year (although I think he saw that as a good thing).

Plus it seems that the announcement only refers to illegal deforestation, and legal clearance of the forest (which is still considerable) will be unaffected. So these targets fall short of the more ambitious ones we think are needed to lead us towards see zero deforestation by 2015.

The whole plan is linked to the Amazon Fund established by the Brazilian government a few months ago, into which other governments can pay money to fund the conservation of the forest, and it has been made clear that reaching the targets is dependent on international funds being available. Norway has already pledged US$ 1 billion over the next seven years, on the condition that deforestation levels fall each year.

The announcement is no doubt timed to coincide with the climate talks in Poznan where plans to make forest conservation a global responsibility will be discussed (Greenpeace's own Forests for Climate plan is the one I'm backing).

But there are double standards at play here – the Brazilian congress is preparing to vote on a new bill which, if passed, will allow land owners to clear more forest from their property. At the moment, they can cut back 20% of the forest on their land, but the bill (backed by those with agricultural interests) will increase that to 50%.

So right there you can see that, even if illegal deforestation is cut or even eliminated, state sanctioned destruction could balloon in its place and so completely undermine any efforts to bring the rate of deforestation down.

And these figures are on the rise once again. For three consecutive years, the pace of deforestation in the Amazon has been going down, but the annual figures released last week showed they jumped 3.8% on the same period last year.

Service

www.greenpeace.org.uk

Tags:

  • Show Comments (2)

  • Falupa

    Fighting Deforestation
    Fighting deforestation is a serious problem especially in Brazil where the deforestation is a serious problem. It is extremely hard to get away from something like this especially when people know that they can get away with it.

  • George

    deforestation
    Humans are and will always be greedy. We must reduce the amount of humans on this planet or we WILL consume all. We must have a world wide mandate that each human only has 2 children and the first not until age 29. This will peacefully reduce the world’s population by half in 100-200 years. Penalties must apply to those who violate the mandate. Anything less is a pure waste of time and is a lie.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

On Honduras Brazil and US Want Micheletti to Resign and Zelaya to Be Free to Go

Brazil and the United States seem to agree that ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya ...

Mercosur Needs a Parliament, Says Brazil’s Lula

During today’s visit by the President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez, Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio ...

Is The Church Ready for a Brazilian Pope?

Brazil is the country with more catholics in the world, with a population of ...

Lawsuits Won’t Stop Brazil from Building World’s Third Largest Hydroelectric Plant

Despite nasty court battles started by Indians, environmental activists and some of its own ...

Tension Rises: Brazil and Bolivia Take Off the Gloves

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is already in Vienna, Austria, to take part ...

Brazil Moves to Deal with Charges of Arms Smuggling from Neighboring Countries

The multilateral commission formed in Brazil to discuss illegal trade in arms plans to ...

A Brazilian Movement Appeals to the UN to Stop the Amazon’s Belo Monte Dam

Delivered to the United Nations last Thursday, April 1st, a document claims that flaws ...

The Battisti Affair Hasn’t Sated Italy’s Appetite for Doing Business with Brazil

Cesare Battisti, a member of Italy’s Armed Proletarians for Communism (PAC), lives comfortably in ...

Fitch Gives Thumbs Up to Banco do Brasil and Down to Brazil’s Banco Rural

Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, has today affirmed Banco do Brasil’s long-term foreign ...