Threats to the Amazon rainforest

Amazon rainforest under threat: deforestation, forest fires, livestock farming

React and Protect

It’s hard to ignore it… the Amazon is suffering.

Only global awareness can save the Amazon and the rest of the planet with it. This planetary emergency resonates as the essence of the Amazonia Wild Experience.

Deforestation, illegal mining, land clearing and fires have already reached an 11-year high and scientists say we are rapidly approaching a point of no return – after which the Amazon would no longer function as it should.


Mines et déforestations

Deforestation

Between 1492 and 1970, 1% of the Amazonian forest was destroyed. During the last 35 years, this same forest has been reduced by 14%, an area twice the size of France and a deforestation rate 200 times higher.

Deforestation continues to accelerate at the present time.

Moreover, beyond the destroyed surfaces, it is the quality of the forest which is also at stake. Some loggers do not hesitate to penetrate the forest to take only certain rare species of wood: the forest is plundered.


Forest fires

While the images of forest fires had gone around the world in 2019, the “green lung” of the planet continues to burn in relative indifference. The number of fires was even on the rise in July 2020, there were recorded 6,803 fire starts in the Amazon region.

This trend is only accelerating, encouraged by a Brazilian government that deconstructs all past environmental policies.

incendies volontaires en amazonie

agriculture et déforestation

Agriculture

Now, along with tropical timber exports and the expansion of cattle ranching, the intensive cultivation of soybeans has become the number one enemy of the Amazon rainforest, in the struggle of environmentalists and defenders of indigenous peoples.

To date, more than 80 million hectares of land in Brazil have been cleared for these reasons, about one tenth of the country’s surface.

Soybeans are mainly cultivated to feed cattle, which is one of the causes of deforestation. The vicious circle is in place.


Cattle ranching

The dense Amazon forests that once covered northeastern Brazil have all disappeared. Not to be replaced by cities, but by a desert of pastures and cattle farms stretching to infinity. The last remaining patches of the world’s oldest forests are those that have been saved by Indian resistance to the advance of loggers and ranchers.
The need for space for livestock is one of the main causes of forest fires. The big Brazilian stockbreeders do not hesitate to burn the forest to multiply the breeding. The magnitude of the fires of the last ones took dimensions out of control, to the point that several thousands of cattle were trapped and burned to death.

élevage et déforestation

orpaillage au Guyana

Mining

In the Amazon, small-scale, informal or illegal mining is in the majority. Invariably, mercury is used massively to separate the gold from the ore: on average, gold miners use 1.3 kg of mercury to recover 1 kg of gold. This means that by offering a piece of gold jewelry of unknown origin… you may be offering its weight in mercury to the Amazon and its inhabitants!
Gold mining ruins the ecosystem through deforestation and poisoning of the water table.
The Amerindian peoples are the main victims of gold mining.


Threats to Amerindian Peoples

Disease, hunger, armed attacks, fires and acculturation by evangelization decimate a little more each day the Indians of the savannah or of the great Amazonian forest.
At the beginning of our century the Indians of Brazil were only 500 000. Today they are hardly more than 70 000 approximately.
They have to face all the threats mentioned above: fires, disappropriation of their lands, acculturation by the evangelical missions, mercury poisoning…
The fight for the preservation of the Amerindian culture and peoples is more than ever topical.

RAONI