Turning parts of the rainforest into national parks and enforcing laws, proved to be successful in slowing the deforestation rates of the Amazon Rainforest on Brazil’s territory.
Over the last decade, the deforestation rates in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil have dropped by a whopping 90, percent mostly because the government enforced laws against illegal deforestation and made additional agreements with ranchers and farmers.
Daniel Nepstad, the executive director at Earth Innovation Institute and founding president of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), said that the most important thing that contributed to the decreasing rates of deforestation was the enforcement of already existing laws by the Brazilian government.
“It was possible through practical enforcement of previous and new regulations,” Dr. Javier Godar, a research fellow with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) said.
In 2004 the government decided that 50 percent of the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil would become national park land, in order to protect it from deforestation. The amount of the forest land that used be cleared each year, went from 10,500 acres (4249.19 hectares) in 2005, to about 1,850 acres (748.66 hectares) in 2014.
In Brazil, the most rainforest land was cleared from 2003 to 2004, and it consisted of about 10,700 acres (4330.29 hectares). Then-President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva started working on government policies in 2008, that would help slow down the deforestation rates.
The actions of farmers and ranchers represented quite a big problem when speaking of deforestation, because they used to clear out the forests in order to plans soy beans instead, according to Dr. Daniel Nepstad. Some of the farmers moved to Paraguay and Bolivia, after the government implemented the new rules. It is not clear whether they left because deforestation plummeted, or they had other reasons to leave.
However, the farmers should not give up their work, because there are a lot of abandoned pastures in the Amazon that could be used with no need for further deforestation, Dr. Godar said.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff stated that the main goal is to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030. German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to give Brazil $618 million to help with this cause.
Image Source: softpedia-static