Environmental groups, big ag unite for Amazon in Brazil

An unprecedented coalition of 230 environmental groups and Brazilian agrobusiness companies have sent an open letter to President Jair Bolsonaro urging him to fight deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

New worry over August deforestation in Brazilian Amazon

Last month was the second-worst August on record for deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, according to official figures released Friday, sparking new criticism of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's environmental policies.

Indigenous property rights protect the Amazon rainforest

One way to cut back on deforestation in the Amazon rainforest—and help in the global fight against climate change—is to grant more of Brazil's indigenous communities full property rights to tribal lands. This policy focus ...

Brazil hails reduction in Amazon deforestation in July

Brazil on Friday hailed figures showing a reduction in July of deforestation that has spooked international investors, though environmentalists warned it was too early to proclaim success.

Small-farm tech reduces deforestation, climate change

Small farms in Zambia that use the latest hybrid seed for maize, along with improving health on neutral soils, help reduce deforestation and tackle climate change, Cornell University researchers report this month in Global ...

Revealing Brazil's rotten agribusinesses

Following reports that Brazil's current deforestation rate—1 million hectares—is the highest in a decade, a peer-reviewed study published in Science today finds that 18-22%, and possibly more, of Brazil's annual exports ...

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Deforestation

Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use.

The term deforestation is often misused to describe any activity where all trees in an area are removed. However in temperate climates, the removal of all trees in an area—in conformance with sustainable forestry practices—is correctly described as regeneration harvest. In temperate mesic climates, natural regeneration of forest stands often will not occur in the absence of disturbance, whether natural or anthropogenic. Furthermore, biodiversity after regeneration harvest often mimics that found after natural disturbance, including biodiversity loss after naturally occurring rainforest destruction.

Deforestation occurs for many reasons: trees or derived charcoal are used as, or sold, for fuel or as timber, while cleared land is used as pasture for livestock, plantations of commodities, and settlements. The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation has also been used in war to deprive an enemy of cover for its forces and also vital resources. A modern example of this, for example, was the use of Agent orange in Vietnam. Deforested regions typically incur significant adverse soil erosion and frequently degrade into wasteland.

Disregard or ignorance of intrinsic value, lack of ascribed value, lax forest management and deficient environmental laws are some of the factors that allow deforestation to occur on a large scale. In many countries, deforestation, both naturally occurring and human induced, is an ongoing issue. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record.

Among countries with a per capita GDP of at least US$4,600, net deforestation rates have ceased to increase.

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