With a constant need to look out for the planets ecosystems, it is always saddening to see that some governments simply are not. So when I saw the news that, over the past 12 months, deforestation in the Amazon rain forest had jumped 69%, I was literally shocked.
According to the National Institute for Space Research, or INPE, which monitors destruction of the Amazon, since August 2007 a total of 8,147 square kilometers (3,145 square miles) was destroyed within the Amazon. This is the first such increase in 3 years, and saw a 69% jump over the 4,820 square kilometers (1,861 square miles) felled in the previous 12 months.
“We’re not content,” said the Brazilian Environment Minister, Carlos Minc. “Deforestation has to fall more and the conditions for sustainable development have to improve.”
Despite the Brazilian government’s increased fight against illegal logging in the Amazon, including increased cash payments and eliminating government bank loans to farmers who do lop down trees, the rising demand for soy and cattle have pushed farmers and ranchers to clear more of the forest for themselves.
When you consider the size of the Amazon, the fact that in 2007 Brazil lost 2.7% of the Amazon rain forest is absolutely staggering. And considering that the Amazon region covers about 4.1 million square kilometers (1.6 million square miles) of Brazil, the fact that 20% of that land has already been deforested, is even more alarming.
Putting aside the fact that some believe that a lack of forest will increase the greenhouse gases warming our planet, the simple fact that we need trees for breathable oxygen seems to be a decent reason to keep them around.
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