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Race onto Save Amazon Rainforest

INTERNATIONAL: The race is onto save the world’s most important forest. Sunday saw the 171st celebration of Amazon Day. The day was first celebrated back in 1850 to mark the creation of Brazil’s Amazonas state, but has now become a rallying call for climate change awareness, and the impact rapid deforestation in the Amazon is having.

The world’s top conservation body is considering whether to propose that 80% of the Amazon rainforest declared a protected area by 2025. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature believes this is the only way to save the most important rainforest on Earth. Submitted under an emergency provision, the measure calls for a global action plan to halt what is described as rampant deforestation and the destructive extraction of precious minerals and oil.

Over the past two decades, the Amazon has lost roughly 10,000 square kilometres every year. Thick smoke billows above the jungle on a daily basis as land is cleared for commercial agriculture and mining, but the fires are getting worse. In August, according to government data, fires were well above the historic average for a third consecutive year. It’s not been this bad since before President Jair Bolsonaro took office. The right-wing president has been widely criticized for driving development in the Amazon, while working to weaken environmental protections.

Scientists fear the rapid rate of destruction risks sabotaging global attempts to limit climate change. The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and is seen as vital in the fight against a warming climate because of the vast amount of carbon dioxide that its plant life absorbs.

Photo: SMOKE AND FIRES IN AMAZON RAINFOREST BURNED AND CLEAR CUT AREAS


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