The forests in the Centre of the major strategies, Washington Novaes article

The forests in the Centre of the major strategies, Washington Novaes article

Posted in April 8, 2013 by HC 




[ O Estado de s. Paulo] It is amazing how much of society and business media-in Brazil and out of here – continues to understand that issues such as forest conservation, biodiversity and climate change are born from the fantasy of “environmentalists” unoccupied and extravagant. Do not take into account, in their critical view of “environmentalists”, the negative impacts of predation ecosystems, mainly in the area of economic production – even that are increasingly frequent studies that warn of these consequences.

Anyone in that position should pay attention to the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, competent and experienced diplomat, able to coordinate the coexistence of almost 200 Nations, with authority over departments and scientific bodies, international conferences and agreements. In the recent celebrations of the international day of water, Ban Ki-moon made an appeal in favor of the reduction of deforestation and the loss of forests in the world, because they cover a third of the planet’s surface and decisively influence in vital services for human survival-water flows, climate regulation, soil fertility, etc. (and those services provided free by natureas has been reviewed in this space, would be worth three times more than the entire world gross product if they had to be replaced by human actions and technologies).

According to the UN Secretary-General, 2 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods and their income and 750 million live in them; There is more than half of the planet’s waters; in them is much of the diversity of ecosystems and half of the terrestrial species of animals and plants. But aside from commercial exploitation in search of Woods, of the overthrow to deploy crops and pastures, forests suffer because 3 billion people still use wood as fuel. For the same reasons, the United Nations food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) took the same position, noting that the loss of forests affects food security, particularly of the poorest populations, already harmed by the waste of more than 1 billion tons of food.

We should pay close attention to those words, since Brazil has about 500 million hectares of forest areas-although the “Greens” will not able to discuss the environmental Commission of the Chamber of Deputies the reduction, with the design of the new forest code, 58% in the areas of forest cleared to be recovered, according to a survey of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (State, 21/3). Only in the Cerrado soybean crop expansion translates into illegally deforested 40 thousand hectares (State, 13/3). The area to be recomposed with vegetated will fall 50 thousand to 21 thousand hectares in Mato Grosso, Pará, Minas Gerais and Bahia. Not by chance, the Environment Committee is chaired by the largest soybean grower in Mato Grosso. And Brazil has not yet ratified-the Government now promises to 2014 – the new requirements of the Biodiversity Convention, adopted in 2010 in Nagoya, which establish the conservation in 17% of land areas and 10 percent of ocean areas.

Nor is the revelation of a casual study of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul showing (Agency Fapesp, 26/3) that the Pampa biome – in certain areas has increased a great deal of diversity in vegetation than the forest-is now with 35% of its surface covered by planted forests of eucalyptus and pinus. As there is no accident that the illegal deforestation in the Amazon, between August and February, 2012 has been 1,351 square kilometers, 91% more than in the same period previous (State, 13/3), according to Imazon Institute – even if in this period 72% of the area was shrouded by clouds and could not be accurately assessed. According to this Institute, between 2001 and 2010 the subsequent degradation of forest areas has reached 30% of the total area deforested.

Study of the Academy of Sciences of the USA, which examined 292 protected areas in Brazil, showed, once again, that among all models of forest protection areas and national parks are the most effective, better than the so-called projects of “sustainable use”. Still, the Brazilian Forest Service just to approve the granting of two more public forest areas for this type of “sustainable exploitation” by companies (the author of these lines know directly some of these areas; in one of them, “copy”, the company was fined after by Ibama for removing seven times more wood than was authorized). Nurturing hopes the agreement of the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets of not working with meat from deforested areas.

The agriculture should pay close attention to all the information in this area, since deforestation is directly related to climate changes. A study of Global Change Biology showed there is little in France grows from year to year the impact of the increase in temperature on the corn, and that he will multiply. In Bahia (State, 17/3) 2012 drought led to the loss of $ 1 billion in crop of grain. And a u.s. Government study showed that the warmer weather has reduced over the past six decades in 10% the ability of workers to withstand higher temperatures-and this could double by 2050. It is no coincidence that climate change entered in the strategy that the u.s. security plan. China will introduce a tax on the carbon emitted by companies in the country. The US already discuss at the Congress.

Interestingly, it is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that points out one of the roots of the problem: one of the strongest factors in the generation of pollutants and climate change is in the subsidies that almost all countries grant to the consumption of oil and its derivatives.

* Washington Novaes is a journalist. Email:

Article originally published in O Estado de s. Paulo .

EcoDebate, 4/8/2013


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