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This year more than 1,500 km2 of the Amazon were destroyed

2021-05-08T08:23:11.765Z

So far this year 1,740 km² of the Amazon in Brazil have been destroyed, the equivalent of eight times the surface of the city of Buenos Aires.



The Amazon rainforest in the sights of the climate summit 3:17

(CNN) -

So far this year 1,740 km² of the Amazon have been destroyed in Brazil, according to the Andean Amazon Monitoring Project (MAAP).

This is an area superior to all of Mexico City or, to put it in soccer terms, almost 245 Maracanã stadiums.

In 2020, forest loss exceeded 22,500 km² in the nine countries that comprise the Amazon.

Two thirds of this loss occurred in Brazil, according to MAAP data.

That represents a 17% increase from 2019 and is the third highest annual total since 2000.

Reducing illegal logging in the Amazon is unlikely 5:57

The Amazon under Bolsonaro

The destruction of the Amazon increased during the term of President Jair Bolsonaro, who cut funds for the government's environmental protection and monitoring programs, and has pushed the opening of indigenous lands to agriculture and mining.

Much of this land is used to graze livestock for the export of meat or to grow soybeans, which are mainly used for animal feed, according to Greenpeace.

The Amazon is a giant carbon sink, and a portion of that carbon is released into the atmosphere when it is cut down or burned.

The Amazon emits more gases than it absorbs 1:00

Last month, Bolsonaro said in a letter to his US counterpart Joe Biden that he is committed to ending illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, but will need additional funds and resources.

He reiterated the commitment at the climate summit organized by the United States.

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European companies threaten boycott

On Wednesday, some of Europe's largest supermarkets and grocery companies threatened to stop buying agricultural products from Brazil if a bill that they say would encourage deforestation becomes law.

In an open letter published Wednesday, 40 chains, food providers and investment firms urged lawmakers to reconsider a proposal that would legalize the private occupation of public land that has taken place since 2012.

The companies say the bill poses "potentially even greater threats to the Amazon," where there are already high levels of deforestation.

Amazon forest in danger, more than previously thought 0:49

Signatories include Germany's Metro and the Aldi and Lidl chains, as well as British retailers Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose & Partners, and the Dutch group Ahold Delhaize, which operates 21 brands mainly in Europe and the United States. United.

Exports from Brazil to the European Union

Brazil is the largest exporter of agricultural products to the European Union, according to the European Commission.

In 2020, the country exported goods worth a total of 25 billion euros ($ 30 billion) to the bloc.

These include beef, soy, and coffee.

Agricultural products are also one of Brazil's main exports to the United Kingdom.

Legal & General Investment Management, one of the largest asset managers in Europe, also signed the letter.

The document says that the Amazon is "essential for the security of our planet" and "critical" for the prosperity of Brazilians in the future and "of the entire society."

"If (the bill) or other measures that undermine existing protections become law, we will have no choice but to reconsider our support and use of the Brazilian agricultural commodity supply chain," they said in the letter.

"We urge the Brazilian government to reconsider its proposal."

The Brazilian government declined to comment.

With information from Rodrigo Pedroso  

Amazon

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-05-08

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