The World Daily
Indigenous people push for better Amazon rainforest protections

Illegal gold miners work at a mine in Posto de Vigilancia. Photo:New York Times


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | SEPTEMBER 6th 2021 


A new push from indigenous leaders has begun, as they urge world representatives and leaders to increase Amazon Rainforest protections up to at least 80% by 2025. A bold yet crucial course of action that they say is absolutely necessary.

The campaign had been launched during a nine-day conference in Marseille, France, on Sunday. As it stands, the current protections for the Amazon rainforest cover less than 50% of its total amount, and with the increasing progress towards a destructive point of no return for the so-called ‘lungs of the world,’ the pressure to get better protections is beginning to mount.

“We invite the global community to join us to reverse the destruction of our home and by doing so safeguard the future of the planet,” said lead coordinator for the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), Jose Gregorio Diaz Mirabal.

COICA is known to represent all of the Indigenous groups living in the nine Amazon-basin nations, and was founded in Lima, Peru, back in 1984. As an area often compared to be 13 times the size of New York City, it’s recognised as an absolutely vital forest for keeping world's oxygen and carbon cycles regulated.

Since the election of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in 2019, deforestation levels in the Amazon have seen a significant increase. In 2020, the deforestation levels in the rainforest had reached a 12-year high, an incident that gained plenty of worldwide acknowledgement, and sparked the greater chase for change.

“Deforestation is still out of control,” said Carlos Souza, a researcher at Imazon, a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the Amazon Rainforest. “Brazil is going against the global climate agenda that is seeking to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to a report published last month, deforestation in the Amazon had hit its highest annual level in a decade, with 10,476 square km of forest having been completely destroyed between August 2020 and July 2021. The pressure is still on, not only from deforestation, but also the mining, oil, and ranching industries. 


Another landmark study released in July by the Science Panel for the Amazon, which was based on research by 200 scientists, had revealed that the overall Amazon basin has lost at least 18% of its total forest cover. It further revealed that another 17% of the rainforest had been severely degraded, and on its way towards destruction.

Brazilian earth system scientist Carlos Nobre warned that it wouldn’t take much more to seal the rainforest’s fate, as when the deforestation level reaches around 20-25%, then the damage will become wholly irreversible. The conditions will spiral gradually out of control from there, until the entire Amazon is reduced to a savanna.

“We are going through a very tough moment in Brazilian history. There’s a lot of denialism, and many attempts to weaken our environmental policy,” said Brazilian senator Eliziane Gama during a public hearing held to push for changes in the country’s environmental policies.

COICA is hoping that the World Conservation Congress, which is held only once every four years, will give endorsement to its “Amazonia80x2025” plan, in order to give the cause far more traction when the time eventually comes for governments to convene and discuss the most biodiversity goals. 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021 

Source: Al Jazeera, Latin Post, The Guardian,