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Amazon Rainforest: Tracking the conservation of 'lungs of Earth'

Amazon Rainforest: Tracking the conservation of 'lungs of Earth'

Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the "lungs of Earth" to signify its importance as a climate regulator. Spread over 650 million hectares, the forest falls within borders of nine South American countries and directly impacts the rainfall in those countries. Many experts also argue that it can even impact the weather of regions as far as Europe.

Amazon Rainforest stores billions of tonnes of carbon and is crucial in the fight against climate change. Its importance is well established but the forest is still in grave danger due to rapid deforestation and massive fires. Serious concerns have been raised over inadequate action to protect the forest and many environmentalists also argue that in many cases, governments are the reason for Amazon's destruction.

In an effort to track the progress of conservation of the humongous Amazon Rainforest, this Live Discourse aims to report all the happenings and scientific studies related to the "lungs of Earth" .

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Amazon Rainforest: Tracking the conservation of 'lungs of Earth' - Brazil's national force to fight deforestation amid concerns of another spike in 2020

Brazil | Parag Narang
Updated: 12-02-2020 13:18 IST Created: 21-11-2019 08:35 IST

1:18 PM Brazil has authorized its national public security force to support efforts to fight deforestation in the Amazon, amid worries that 2020 could see another surge in the destruction of the world's largest rainforest. Justice Minister Sergio Moro approved the security force, composed of police with special military-style training, to support operations carried out by environmental agency Ibama in Para state through the end of the year, according to the official government gazette.Para is Brazil's second-largest rainforest state and sits along the so-called arc of deforestation that encircles the Amazon and is rapidly penetrating deeper into the forest.The announcement comes as scientists, environmental enforcement agents, and official statistics point toward another potential spike in deforestation this year, after soaring to an 11-year high in 2019. Read more

1:14 PM Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill Wednesday that would allow mining, farming, and hydroelectric power projects on formerly protected land in the world's largest rainforest, saying: "I hope this dream... comes true."He further stoked controversy by naming a former Evangelical missionary to head the government department responsible for protecting isolated indigenous groups in Brazil, which is home to at least 100 uncontacted tribes, more than any other country. Read more

1:14 PM The main organization representing Brazil's 300 indigenous tribes said on Friday it would sue far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for racism after he said indigenous people were "evolving" and becoming more human."We need to put a stop to this perverse man," Sonia Guajajara, leader of the Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), wrote on Twitter. "APIB will go to court against Jair Bolsonaro for the crime of racism."Racism is considered a serious crime in Brazil and can carry a sentence of up to five years.The controversial comments, the latest in a series of presidential outbursts on tribes living in the vast Amazon rainforest, came in a video posted on social media on Thursday. "The Indian has changed, he is evolving and becoming more and more, a human being like us," Bolsonaro said. "What we want is to integrate him into society so he can own his land."

6:54 PM Colombia is asking indigenous Amazon tribes to suggest ways to spend more than $7 million available to fight deforestation, the nation's environment minister said on Wednesday, part of an international effort to protect the threatened rainforest.Involving native tribal communities is critical to saving the Amazon, which in Colombia covers about 26 million hectares (100,387 square miles), said Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano at a news conference.The more than $7 million on offer to Colombia's Amazon indigenous tribes is part of hundreds of millions of dollars provided by Norway, Germany, and Britain to a United Nations-backed anti-deforestation effort called REDD+ that provides funds to countries for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

6:24 PM The number of fires in the Amazon rainforest grew 30.5% in 2019 from the previous year, according to data released by space research agency INPE on Wednesday.According to INPE, the number of fires detected in the Amazon region was 89,178 in 2019 compared with 68,345 fires in 2018. Although the number of fires rose, it was still below the historic average of 109,630 fires in the Amazon each year.INPE's fire monitoring program also identified rising number of fires last year in other Brazilian ecosystems such as Pantanal and Cerrado. Brazil and Bolivia struggled to curb massive forest fires in 2019.

2:23 PM The regrowth of Amazonian forests following deforestation may happen at a much slower rate than previously thought, according to a new study. The research, published in the journal Ecology, monitored forest regrowth over two decades and shows that climate change, and the wider loss of forests, could be hampering regrowth in the Amazon.Based on the findings, the researchers, including those from Lancaster University in the UK, predict there could be significant impacts for climate change predictions. They reasoned this could be because the ability of secondary forests to soak up carbon from the atmosphere may have been over-estimated.Read More: Amazon forest regrowth happening much slower than thought: Study

6:44 PM An Earth observation satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil was launched into space on Friday under a bilateral program seen as a template for broader cooperation among BRICS nations. The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A was launched on a Long March-4B rocket in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua news agency reported.The CBERS-4A will support the Brazilian government’s monitoring of the Amazon rainforest and changes in the country’s environment, according to Xinhua.

6:08 PM Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon in November surged by 104 percent compared to the same month in 2018, according to official data released Saturday. The 563 square kilometers (217 square miles) deforested that month is also the highest number for any November since 2015, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which provides official data on deforestation.

5:12 PM British musician Sting was awarded an international prize on Tuesday for his work to protect the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants where a battle over land is becoming more deadly with a spate of killings in recent days. The Global Citizen Prize was given to the 17-time Grammy-award singer-songwriter as part of his work with the Rainforest Fund, a charitable foundation he co-founded with his wife, Trudie Styler, in 1989 to support indigenous people.

5:00 PM Norway, Germany, and Britain have said that they would spend up to $366 million over the next five years to help Colombia reduce deforestation in its vast Amazon rainforest.The three nations have backed Colombia's efforts since to preserve forest areas covering almost 60 million hectares since 2015, with about $180 million invested so far. "The renewal of the declaration is a recognition of Colombia's ability to reverse the deforestation trend, having achieved a 10% reduction in deforestation in 2018 compared to 2017," the countries said in a joint statement.Colombia has set ambitious goals to curb deforestation, including reducing the annual loss of natural forests to 155,000 hectares (380,000 acres) or less by 2022 and 100,000 hectares or less by 2025. If successful, this would mean a reduction in Colombia's deforestation rates by 50% compared to 2018.

Brazil's national force to fight deforestation amid concerns of another spike in 2020

Brazil has authorized its national public security force to support efforts to fight deforestation in the Amazon, amid worries that 2020 could see another surge in the destruction of the world's largest rainforest. Justice Minister Sergio Moro approved the security force, composed of police with special military-style training, to support operations carried out by environmental agency Ibama in Para state through the end of the year, according to the official government gazette.

Para is Brazil's second-largest rainforest state and sits along the so-called arc of deforestation that encircles the Amazon and is rapidly penetrating deeper into the forest.

The announcement comes as scientists, environmental enforcement agents, and official statistics point toward another potential spike in deforestation this year, after soaring to an 11-year high in 2019. Read more.

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Bolsonaro proposes new bill to allow several projects on formerly protected land

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill Wednesday that would allow mining, farming, and hydroelectric power projects on formerly protected land in the world's largest rainforest, saying: "I hope this dream... comes true."

He further stoked controversy by naming a former Evangelical missionary to head the government department responsible for protecting isolated indigenous groups in Brazil, which is home to at least 100 uncontacted tribes, more than any other country. Read more.

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Brazil's indigenous planning to take Bolsonaro to court over 'racism'

Brazil's indigenous planning to take Bolsonaro to court over 'racism'

The main organization representing Brazil's 300 indigenous tribes said on Friday it would sue far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for racism after he said indigenous people were "evolving" and becoming more human.

"We need to put a stop to this perverse man," Sonia Guajajara, leader of the Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), wrote on Twitter. "APIB will go to court against Jair Bolsonaro for the crime of racism."

Racism is considered a serious crime in Brazil and can carry a sentence of up to five years.

The controversial comments, the latest in a series of presidential outbursts on tribes living in the vast Amazon rainforest, came in a video posted on social media on Thursday. "The Indian has changed, he is evolving and becoming more and more, a human being like us," Bolsonaro said. "What we want is to integrate him into society so he can own his land."

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Colombia seeks suggestions from indigenous Amazon tribes to fight deforestation

Colombia seeks suggestions from indigenous Amazon tribes to fight deforestation

Colombia is asking indigenous Amazon tribes to suggest ways to spend more than $7 million available to fight deforestation, the nation's environment minister said on Wednesday, part of an international effort to protect the threatened rainforest.

Involving native tribal communities is critical to saving the Amazon, which in Colombia covers about 26 million hectares (100,387 square miles), said Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano at a news conference.

The more than $7 million on offer to Colombia's Amazon indigenous tribes is part of hundreds of millions of dollars provided by Norway, Germany, and Britain to a United Nations-backed anti-deforestation effort called REDD+ that provides funds to countries for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE ON : indigenous Amazon tribes
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Amazon forest fires rose sharply in 2019: INPE

The number of fires in the Amazon rainforest grew 30.5% in 2019 from the previous year, according to data released by space research agency INPE on Wednesday.

According to INPE, the number of fires detected in the Amazon region was 89,178 in 2019 compared with 68,345 fires in 2018. Although the number of fires rose, it was still below the historic average of 109,630 fires in the Amazon each year.

INPE's fire monitoring program also identified rising number of fires last year in other Brazilian ecosystems such as Pantanal and Cerrado. Brazil and Bolivia struggled to curb massive forest fires in 2019.

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New study raises concerns over regrowth of Amazon

The regrowth of Amazonian forests following deforestation may happen at a much slower rate than previously thought, according to a new study. The research, published in the journal Ecology, monitored forest regrowth over two decades and shows that climate change, and the wider loss of forests, could be hampering regrowth in the Amazon.

Based on the findings, the researchers, including those from Lancaster University in the UK, predict there could be significant impacts for climate change predictions. They reasoned this could be because the ability of secondary forests to soak up carbon from the atmosphere may have been over-estimated.

Read More: Amazon forest regrowth happening much slower than thought: Study

READ MORE ON : Amazon forest regrowth
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China and Brazil cooperate to monitor Amazon rainforest from space

China and Brazil cooperate to monitor Amazon rainforest from space

An Earth observation satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil was launched into space on Friday under a bilateral program seen as a template for broader cooperation among BRICS nations. The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A was launched on a Long March-4B rocket in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The CBERS-4A will support the Brazilian government’s monitoring of the Amazon rainforest and changes in the country’s environment, according to Xinhua.

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Deforestation continue to increase at alarming levels in Amazon

Deforestation continue to increase at alarming levels in Amazon

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon in November surged by 104 percent compared to the same month in 2018, according to official data released Saturday. The 563 square kilometers (217 square miles) deforested that month is also the highest number for any November since 2015, according to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which provides official data on deforestation.

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British musician Sting awarded for his work with Rainforest Fund

British musician Sting awarded for his work with Rainforest Fund

British musician Sting was awarded an international prize on Tuesday for his work to protect the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants where a battle over land is becoming more deadly with a spate of killings in recent days. The Global Citizen Prize was given to the 17-time Grammy-award singer-songwriter as part of his work with the Rainforest Fund, a charitable foundation he co-founded with his wife, Trudie Styler, in 1989 to support indigenous people.

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Norway, Germany, and Britain commit $366 million to Colombia's Amazon

Norway, Germany, and Britain have said that they would spend up to $366 million over the next five years to help Colombia reduce deforestation in its vast Amazon rainforest.

The three nations have backed Colombia's efforts since to preserve forest areas covering almost 60 million hectares since 2015, with about $180 million invested so far. "The renewal of the declaration is a recognition of Colombia's ability to reverse the deforestation trend, having achieved a 10% reduction in deforestation in 2018 compared to 2017," the countries said in a joint statement.

Colombia has set ambitious goals to curb deforestation, including reducing the annual loss of natural forests to 155,000 hectares (380,000 acres) or less by 2022 and 100,000 hectares or less by 2025. If successful, this would mean a reduction in Colombia's deforestation rates by 50% compared to 2018.

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