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Over the last several years, the rate of forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon had been in steady decline, but the latest data is yet again proving that the problem is far from over. According to figures released today, deforestation in the world's largest rainforest has increased nearly 1,000 percent from the same period the year before, marking the first rise in over two years -- though only time will tell if it is merely a disappointing uptick, or a troubling reverse of trends.
A newly disclosed report from the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (IMAZON) reveals that 175 square kilometers (68 mi²) of forest were cleared this past December, compared with just 16 km² (6 mi²) reported last year for December 2009, a rise of 994 percent.
In addition to deforestation, areas of Amazon degradation have also increased at an alarming rate. IMAZON notes that 541 km² (209 mi²) were degraded in December 2010. Throughout that month in 2009, only 11 km² (4 mi²) were impacted -- representing an astonishing increase of 4,818 percent.
Unfortunately, while last year ended poorly for the Amazon rainforest, the trend seems to be carrying into the new year. Just last month, 83 km² (32 mi²) of forest were cleared and 376 km² (145 mi²) degraded -- representing increases over last year's rates of 22 and 637 percent, respectively.
Brazil's president said that "gringos" should pay Amazon nations to prevent deforestation, insisting rich Western nations have caused much more past environmental destruction than the loggers and farmers who cut and burn trees in the world's largest tropical rain forest.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the comments Thursday just before an Amazon summit in which delegates signed a declaration calling for financial help from the industrial world to halt the deforestation that causes global warming.
"I don't want any gringo asking us to let an Amazon resident die of hunger under a tree," Silva said. "We want to preserve, but they will have to pay the price for this preservation because we never destroyed our forest like they mowed theirs down a century ago."
Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Some sources claim that deforestation has already wiped out roughly 90% of West Africa's original forests. Deforestation is accelerating in Central Africa. According to the FAO, Africa lost the highest percentage of tropical forests of any continent during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. According to the figures from the FAO (1997), only 22.8% of West Africa's moist forests remain, much of this degraded. Nigeria has lost 81% of its old-growth forests in just 15 years
Originally posted by EvolEric
call me ignorant on the situation... but for the last 20 years i've heard this sort of thing... by my count the whole thing would have been cut down by now...
Originally posted by Sahabi
Has anyone touched a tree while concentrating on the interconnectedness of all things? Has anyone ever communicated with trees via conscious energy exchange? Has anyone ever done tree meditation? By tree meditation I mean to stand amongst trees, meditate on standing still, on enjoying the sun, the air, all the while in complete empathy with the experience of being a tree.
Thanks to conscious awareness and mindfulness, I've recently strengthened my bond and understanding with trees. It is indeed heart-breaking, the level of destruction humans have mustered in the name of modernization and materialism.