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Large parts of Amazon may never recover: Major study

Large parts of Amazon may never recover: Major study

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Anna RusakAnna Rusak,27.12.2023 07:00

Studies conducted in the Amazon region do not yield optimistic results. Deforestation has reached a tipping point, putting the future of the forest in doubt. However, scientists have proposed a solution.

It is no secret that Greenland is facing a grim future due to the effects of climate change. Even if carbon emissions are reduced to zero, a significant portion of the ice sheet is expected to melt, causing rising sea levels. Unfortunately, similarly negative news is emerging from the Amazon rainforest.

The region has been suffering from deforestation and widespread fires, which have hindered the recovery of the ecosystem. Recent research suggests that the situation is not likely to improve, and the prospects for a green future are not good.

The Amazon reached a tipping point

Scientists are confident that the Amazon forest has suffered extensive and severe destruction and is unlikely to recover fully. The rainforests have reached a critical point.

"The tipping point [for the Amazon] is not a future scenario but rather a stage already present in some areas of the region. Brazil and Bolivia concentrate 90% of all combined deforestation and degradation. As a result, savannisation is already taking place in both countries," reads the report quoted by the Guardian.

The Amazon rainforest is under immense threat from human activities. In addition to the devastating fires caused by droughts, deforestation and oil extraction are also causing significant destruction to the forests. As a result of continuous exploitation, only 74% of the original Amazonian forests remain intact.

How can the Amazonian forests be protected?

Researchers from the 'Amazonian Network of Georeferenced Socio-environmental Information' (RAISG) collaborated with the 'Coordinator of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin' (Coica) to reach these conclusions.

The researchers have provided a glimmer of hope amidst the gloom. Although the destruction of the forests has reached a critical point, and it may not be possible to rebuild the Amazon, it does not mean we should give up.

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The study authors suggest focusing on two small countries where the Amazon is located - Suriname and French Guiana. In these countries, at least 50% of the forests are still intact and can be protected.

The study authors are emphasizing that the indigenous people residing in the Amazon rainforest should be the ones responsible for its protection. They believe that they hold the key to solving the Amazon's problems.

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Furthermore, indigenous organizations in the Amazon are advocating for a global agreement to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025. The researchers are confident that this ambitious target can be accomplished if companies and indigenous communities work together. However, the question remains whether those in power will take this issue seriously.

Source: The Guardian

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