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One billion trees felled in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest now 10 million hectares of abandoned pasture

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 19:38
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Desdemona Despair

Aerial view of Amazon deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru. Photo: WFU / ACERS 

[Translation by Google.]

By Alexandre Mansur
5 October 2016

(Época) – One of the strongest arguments to end deforestation in Brazil is the existence of abundant land already cleared and abandoned. The area already deforested and abandoned in Brazil is equivalent to the states of Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina added. That is, we have a territory of South size already open country and not used. Most of it is abandoned pasture. These are called dirty pastures.

The latest survey by Embrapa and Inpe points to the existence of 10 million hectares of these pastures abandoned in the Amazon. The researcher Paulo Barreto made a survey of how this area means environmental damage. According to him, the abandoned Amazon pasture represented the burning of 1 billion trees. This put into the atmosphere carbon dioxide equivalent to 36 years of emissions of all cars in Brazil – using a fleet of 50 million cars in 2015 as a reference.

What was lost when 10 million hectares of Amazon rainforest was turned into dirty pastures? 179nmillion birds, 5.8 million primates, and 1 billion trees. Graphic: Paulo Barreto

Another way to think of this abandoned pasture is that if it is recovered and regenerated by planting trees, even for the production of paper or wood, carbon taken from the atmosphere make up for those 36 years of cars running in the country.

Wasted pastures also cost habitat for the survival of 179 million birds and 5.8 million primates (not human, of course).

These comparisons are part of a very didactic presentation Barreto on challenges of combating deforestation.

After the farmer deforests (usually illegally using fire) and depletes the soil with oxen, the farmer leaves behind the abandoned land. Grasses grow arises either bush. But the forest does not return easy because the area is very vulnerable to accidental fire. After decades without major fires, the forest can grow again, but with less biological wealth than the previous vegetation. According to a study of the Goeldi Museum, are 66 years on average to recover 90% of biomass and 70 years to recover 35% of native tree species.

1 bilhão de árvores foram derrubadas na Amazônia para pastos hoje abandonados


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