Raging wildfires have drawn the world’s attention to the Amazon but immolation is just one of the dangers facing the world’s largest rain forest, environmental experts across the region say. The Amazon, covering 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles) over nine countries, faces ever more serious threats from encroaching crop and livestock farming, mining, land occupations and illegal logging. – Crop and livestock farming – Deforestation for farming is one of the most serious threats to the rain forest, a problem common to all nine jurisdictions: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. “The main cause of deforestation is the advancing agricultural boundary,” said Jose Luis Capella, director of a forest plantation program in Peru, 13 percent of which is covered by the Amazon basin. A case in point is Ecuador, where agricultural land increased by 23 percent between 2000 and 2017 — gouged from its share of the Amazon basin region. “This is one of the main factors in the shrinking of the rain forest,” said Carmen Josse, director of the Fundacion Ecociencia in Quito. A practice common in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia is for farmers to set fires in the dry… Read full this story
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