21st Century The Age of Deforestation?
TerraGreen|March 2020
The year 2019 witnessed depletion of forests to an unprecedented extent. Wildfires, deforestation, illegal logging, mining and other such factors, for which man is responsible, reduced the green cover. World Wide Fund came up with a list to forewarn the world about the regions that are already seeing extreme forest loss and could spiral out of control by 2030 if not addressed at the earliest. On this International Day of Forests, celebrated on March 21, Namrata Gulati Sapra sheds light on these forests that are bearing the brunt of selfish human deeds, demanding urgent attention.
Namrata Gulati Sapra

Amazon

The world’s largest tropical rainforest, Amazon is renowned across the globe for its biodiversity. Considered the ‘Lungs of the Planet’ because it produces over 20% of the world’s oxygen, today, it is under threat. Danger looms large over this tropical rainforest because of deforestation that can be mostly attributed to agriculture as well as cattle ranching. This famous forest, a huge reservoir of carbon, is dying a slow death and turning into a dry forest. Needless to say, this will have wide-ranging implications as far as climate change is concerned. Apart from impacting the pattern of rainfall experienced in South America, this will exert extreme pressure on wildlife found in this part of the forest. Making matters worse is the fact that forest fires that have had damaging effects in the past, have increased massively by 80% since 2018. These forest fires that were initially started to clear lands for agriculture and cattle rearing have become a recurring phenomenon since the 1970s. The forest cover lost in flames will take at least two decades to regenerate. It is about time that we understand the gravity of the situation and make collective efforts to combat environmental degradation in this region, which is a lifeline in our ecology.

Peru

Environmentally, Peru holds a very significant position on the world map. With more than half the country being a forest, it boasts of being the tenth most forested country globally! The thick green cover also makes it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Forests, biodiversity, and the rivers hold a very important role in the lives and livelihoods of Peruvians. These forests have carbon storage capacity. The treasure trove, however, is under threat because of illegal deforestation. The fragile ecosystem is affected by activities such as agriculture, commercial mining, and road construction. Illegal logging has become a prevalent feature that has left the world aghast. The loss of tree cover means, it is the primary cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Peru. The growing environmental threats are also affecting the country’s vibrant wildlife. They remain mute spectators to this sorry state of affairs.

Brazil

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