Deforestation in Amazon Basin - The Hindu - 06/12/22
Recently, a report released by the Amazon Network of Georeferenced Socio-Environmental Information in collaboration with MapBiomas shows that the Amazon region has lost 10% of its native vegetation in almost four decades. The forest area lost is mostly tropical rainforest and is roughly the size of Texas.
GS3 - Env.
Key findings of the report:
-Widening Deforested area
-Methodology: The deforestation numbers are calculated from an annual satellite monitoring.
-Brazil leads with highest loss: Brazil, which holds about two-thirds of the Amazon, also leads the destruction. In almost four decades, 19% of Brazil’s rainforest has been destroyed.
-Impact on Carbon Emissions - At least some 75 billion metric tons of carbon are stored across the Amazon.
These are the world’s largest tropical rainforests occupying the drainage basin of the Amazon River and its tributaries in northern South America. As of 2021, the Amazon had 74% of its area covered by tropical rainforests and 9% of other natural vegetation types. They are home to nearly a fifth of the world’s land species and over 45 million people.
The Amazon Basin:
The basin covers over 6 million square km, nearly twice the size of India. It is bounded by the Guiana Highlands to the north, the Andes Mountains to the west, the Brazilian central plateau to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
Significance of Amazon Rainforests:
-Source of rich biodiversity
-Precipitation and climate control
-Increased global temperatures coupled with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have led to a significant impact on Latin American climate variability and experts predict that the rainforest will perish in just 100 years.
-Increased instances of forest fires, drought and unsustainable agriculture practices have led to massive loss of forest vegetation.
-Poaching, commercial fishing, bio-Piracy and Smuggling has led to decline in flora and fauna numbers rapidly. Many species have become extinct including Amazon River turtle “Paiche”.