BBC World News

Latest figures show a 12-year high for deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

News / 2 Dec 2020

Niki Mardas, Global Canopy Executive Director, talks on BBC World News after Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) present new figures on deforestation in the Amazon

BBC World News. The deforestation piece begins at 01:00.

Deforestation in the Amazon is at its highest level since 2008, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

Niki Mardas spoke to BBC News about this:

  • Deforestation and forest fires in the Amazon are at their highest in over a decade, even high than in 2019 when the number of fires shocked the world. With Covid-19 to add to this, the effects can be devastating, especially on indigenous and local communities on the Amazon.
  • We are all responsible in some way in contributing to the demand for forest-risk commodities such as soy and beef, which drives this deforestation.
  • The world will struggle to meet the Paris Agreement climate targets if deforestation continues. The Amazon is reaching a tipping point at which it could go from being a carbon sink to a vast and unchecked carbon source. But, there is still hope the Agreement could be reached if renewed commitments from China and the incoming Biden administration can be implemented.
  • Gradually, companies and financial institutions are wanting to distance their trade and investments from this deforestation. In 2019, 235 investors called on the companies they invest in to show that they are not linked to it. Financial institutions such as Norwegian Storebrand are pushing further to reduce their impact. If these promises can be met then there is hope.

Read more from Niki about the increase in deforestation and what you can do to help in The Independent.

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