Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
Cutting down rainforests is 100 times more expensive than protecting them
Brazil and Indonesia receive aid to safeguard their rainforests, but spend 100 times more cutting them down.
Between 2009 and 2012 Brazil and Indonesia were given 346 million dollars by the U.N. – mostly from Norway and Germany – to preserve rainforests. But this good piece of news is completely omitted in the report written by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), according to which in the same period those countries have spent the huge sum of 40 billion dollars to support companies that cut down forests.
According to the study, this subsidy, that accounts for 100 times the donation to safeguard rainforests, was given to palm oil multinationals, wood, soy, meat and biofuel trading companies.
“The fact that domestic subsidies for commodities that cause deforestation so vastly outweigh international aid seeking to prevent it shows we need a radical rethink,” Will McFarland, one of the report’s authors told the British daily newspaper the Guardian.
The problem identified by researchers is that subsidies for the protection of rainforests, don’t discourage businesses, on the contrary, they increase the profitability of the forests resources and make them more desirable to investors. As a result forests are threatened further.
It is as if Brazil and Indonesia were “cancer charities asking for donations whilst subsidising cigarette production at the same time” commented Asad Rehman, a senior international climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth Brazil. He also accuses the North of the world to be responsible of the distruction of the Amazon Rainforest and suggest that the only real solution to this failure is empowering communities to protect their own forests, without state aids.
More than half of the world’s rainforest loss between 1990 and 2010 took place in the two countries: 2.7 million hectares on Brazil and 1.6 in Indonesia.
A historic win for the Ashaninka of Brazil as they receive compensation for deforestation on their land
On top of a 2.4 million dollar compensation, the indigenous Ashaninka people will receive an official apology from the companies who deforested their lands in the 1980s.
The tapir was reintroduced into Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the country’s most at-risk ecosystem. The species can play a key role in the forest’s recovery.
Forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. This year’s International Day of Forests highlights the urgent changes needed to save them.
After a legal battle that lasted two years, Indonesia’s Supreme Court has revoked the permit to mine for coal in the forests of South Kalimantan in Borneo.
The list of human and animal victims of the Australia wildfires keeps growing – one species might already have gone extinct – as the smoke even reaches South America.
Areas where the FARC guerrilla used to hold power in Colombia have faced record deforestation. Farmers cut down trees, burn land and plant grass for cows. Because, “what else can we do for a living here in the Colombian Amazon”? An intimate report from the heart of the felled forest in Caquetá.
The 2019 edition of International Mountain Day is “Mountains matter for youth”, highlighting the need to bring young people back to highland areas to take care of their cultural and natural resources.
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