Forest specialists from 41 countries are gathered in Petrópolis, in the mountainous region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to discuss the most efficient available ways to replant forests.
In an interview with the National Radio of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s director of forests of the Ministry of Environment, Tasso Rezende de Azevedo, warned that the situation in Brazil is critical, since deforestation and degradation are occurring on a larger scale than the capacity for recuperation.
To illustrate the situation of the Atlantic Rain Forest in the country, Tasso pointed out that in Petrópolis only 7% of the original forest has been preserved.
The specialist said that Asia and Africa are the continents that suffer the most from forest devastation, and few countries there have reforestation programs. In Europe, however, which underwent a process of devastation in the 19th century, forests are in full recovery.
“We don’t need to experience this lesson. Here in Brazil we still have a chance to keep the forest standing so as not to have to restore all of it later,” he said.
According to Rezende, deforestation in Brazil is directly related to illegal occupation of the land (squatting). That is why the government has endeavored to expedite agrarian reform.
Rezende is one of the participants in the World Forum on Forests, which ends tomorrow, Apri 8, with the preparation of a report on the situation of forests in the 41 countries that are attending the meeting.
The document will be presented by Brazil at the United Nations Forest Forum, scheduled to take place in England at the end of May.
Translation: David Silberstein