Brazil’s Pantanal Wetlands Doomed to Disappear in a Few Decades

The growth of farming and cattle ranching in western Brazil could destroy the world’s largest freshwater wetlands by 2050, researchers said Wednesday.

Farming has already wiped out nearly 45 percent of the original vegetation in the Paraguay River Basin, which includes the 145,000-square-kilometer (56,000-square-mile) Pantanal wetlands, according to a new study by Conservation International-Brazil.

While most of the destruction is outside the Pantanal, the wetlands have lost 17 percent of their original vegetation, degrading soil and altering the flood plain’s dry and wet cycles, which help sustain the region’s rich biodiversity, the study said.

"It is extremely important to conserve the areas surrounding the Pantanal lowlands because they are the headwaters of the rivers that make up the Pantanal," said Sandro Menezes, manager of the conservation group’s Pantanal program.

The report said that if the destruction continues at its current rate, the Pantanal’s native plant life could be wiped out in 45 years.

Scientists say the Pantanal, which sprawls across the midwestern states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul and part of neighboring Bolivia, is home to some 650 bird species, 230 fish species, 80 varieties of mammals and more than 1,000 kinds of butterflies.

Conservation International said Brazil must take urgent action to protect the Pantanal, including increased regulation of land use and better coordination of conservation efforts by government authorities.

State governments have proposed to develop the region by dredging the Paraguay River to open shipping lanes or by building power plants.

In November, environmentalist Francisco Anselmo de Barros, 65, set himself on fire and died protesting plans to build a sugarcane alcohol plant in Mato Grosso do Sul. After his suicide, the state legislature shelved the proposal.

Pravda – www.pravda.ru

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.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

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil’s Lula Mocks NY Times Injunction

It’s the understanding of the Lula administration that the sentence by an Appellate Court ...

GM Is Turning Brazil into Biofuel Car World Leader

General Motors, in spite of its misfortune or long standing mismanagement in the US, ...

Brazil’s TAM Airline Has Now a 116-Aircraft Fleet

Brazilian Airline TAM has added four new Airbus planes to its fleet: two A319's ...

TAM’s Jets Back in Brazil from Middle East Will Fly to NY and London

Brazilian Airline TAM will receive by October three aircraft Airbus A330 that had been ...

Argentina’s Default Might Lower Brazil’s GDP by Half a Point

Argentina’s debt problems threatens to worsen trade tensions in Mercosur, adding to the economic ...

Qatar Tells Brazil: ‘Come Visit and Bring Samples’

Qatar wants to see Brazilian production up closer. The vice president of the Chamber ...

The Brazilian Equation: 45% Blacks 2% of Entrepreneurs

Providing incentives for loans to black businessmen was one of the ideas that received ...

UFRJ, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil Needs a Little Less Astuteness and a Little More Civic Engagement

After declaring Brazil’s Independence, the Empire’s leaders decided to educate the children of the ...

Brazil’s Social Forum Ends. Next Edition in the Works.

There were six days of myriad discussions, political debates, and the presentation of proposals ...

Brazil’s Foreign Debt Shrinks, But It’s Still US$ 161 Billion

Brazil’s foreign debt in May was US$ 5.956 billion less than in March, according ...