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2020: a dark year for virgin tropical forests.

Tropical virgin forests. | Posted on 2021-04-01 17:55

Here is a very sad report which has just been published. It concerns once again the destruction of forests and more specifically the tropical virgin forest.

The Global Forest Watch has unveiled the results of a study based on satellite data showing a marked worsening of the situation for the year 2020. The rainforest is disappearing at a very rapid rate and with it, all ecosystems.

Where do we find the tropical rainforest?

Brazil (in the Amazon), Bolivia (in the Amazon), the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia account for more than two thirds of these forests. The geographical distribution operates as follows: Amazonia, the Congo Basin in Africa and Southeast Asia are the three main tropical forest areas. 50% of the rainforest is found in the Americas, 30% in Africa and 20% in Asia.

According to the report, " 4.2 million hectares of tropical primary forests, crucial for the planet's biodiversity and carbon storage, or 12% more than the previous year " were destroyed. If we combine all types of forests and plantations, we arrive at a loss of 12.2 million hectares. As Frances Seymour of the World Resources Institute in charge of the study points out, this situation is "a climate emergency, a biodiversity crisis, a humanitarian catastrophe and lost economic opportunities" .

Unsurprisingly, it is again Brazil that stands out. We often mention it in our journal. Amazon deforestation is out of control in this country. It is even encouraged there by the Bolsonaro government for the benefit, among other things, of intensive agriculture. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo takes the sad second place in this ranking.

The report also highlights a data that is as explicit as it is frightening: the 4 million hectares of tropical forests that burned in 2020 represent 2.64 gigatonnes of CO2 emitted, or the equivalent of the annual emissions of 570 million cars. . We can therefore fully appreciate the dramatic dimension of the situation for a single year and the major risk facing humanity if we continue to burn the lungs of the planet. Not to mention all the terrestrial species and their habitats that forests support. Everything goes up in smoke to leave only a spectacle of desolation.

Besides the deliberate acts of man to destroy forests, one can also add aggravating factors such as heat waves and drought; probably themselves induced by climate change! The gigantic fires that devastated millions of hectares of forests in Australia are a perfect example. The Taiga is not spared either. Indeed, we can observe, for several years, always hot summers in certain regions of Russia leading to more and more frequent fires.

Reports follow studies. The red flags are ringing and the scientific data is dizzying. But what will happen once the pandemic is under control? Once all the world's economies have activated their stimulus plans and growth will once again be in full swing? What will we do ?

There is no fatality. There are only voluntary acts. An unwavering correlation between what we decide and what happens.

Posted on 2021-04-01 17:55

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