Agribusiness Illegal Clearing by ‘Driving Rainforest Destruction’ – Global Issues

In Brazil, the main agricultural products responsible for deforestation are beef and soybeans. Copyright: Marcelo Camarago / Agencia Brazil, under Creative Commons
  • By Washington Castilhos (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Inter Press Service

Accordingly ReportThe planet lost 77 million hectares of tropical forests in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa between 2013 and 2001, of which 60 percent – .1.1.1 million hectares – were operated by commercial agriculture. At least 69 per cent of “agricultural transformation – clearing forests for agricultural purposes” was done in violation of national law and order.

Illegal clearing for the production of commodities such as beef, soybeans and palm oil has destroyed at least 1.7 million hectares of rainwater in the world over the past seven years, the report said.

Archaeologist Arthur Blundell, the co-author of the report, said: “We don’t have to clean up more to increase food intake. People need to understand the role of commercial agriculture in controlling illegal deforestation and the importance of tropical forests.

The study, based on data from 23 countries, found that deforestation in Latin America and the Caribbean represented 44 percent of tropical forest damage and 77 percent of commercial losses came from commercial agriculture.

In Asia, deforestation represented 1 percent of the total, with 76 percent due to agribusiness.

Africa’s tropical forest loss represents 225 percent of the world’s total, but commercial agriculture accounts for only 10 percent of illegal logging, with subsistence agriculture being the main driver.

Many countries fail to report facts about illegal logging, and reliable country data is scarce, researchers said.

Economic drivers

Geographer Eraldo Matricardi, an associate professor at the University of Brasilia (UNB) who did not take part in the study, said: “Unfortunately, the jungle has not yet been taken into account, so it is interested in producing wildlife. Agribusiness, as a result, has high incentives in terms of economic viability and finances. “

Researchers acknowledge that some deforestation for both commercial and subsistence agriculture is necessary for social and economic reasons.

Although land use expert Matricardy points out that legal deforestation has followed prescribed limits and technical standards, “there is a lack of standards for illegal logging.”

The degree of illegal deforestation varied from region to region. In Latin America, 88 percent of agricultural conversions were done in violation of national laws and regulations, compared to 66 percent in Africa and 411 percent in Asia.

According to the report, 811 percent of the clearing for Indonesian palm oil is estimated to be illegal.

In Brazil, where beef and soy are the major agricultural commodities responsible for deforestation, birds for cattle grazing caused 74 percent forest damage and soy reduced 20 percent, the report said.

Apart from soy, palm oil, and livestock products (beef and leather), other commodities such as cocoa, rubber, coffee, and maize have also been cited as major causes of illegal logging.

Investigators highlight the responsibilities of consumers in the United States, China and the EU, the main importers of these goods.

“Manufacturers of agricultural commodities need to strengthen their laws and stop illegal deforestation, but consumers also have a role to play internationally,” Blundell said. “They have to make sure that what they buy is not linked to forest damage. For example, if you are buying something from Brazil, there is so much evidence that it came from a jungle crop. “

Climate change and corruption

However, the authors point out that corrupt government systems, especially in Brazil and Indonesia, have a hand in illegality.

Illegalization in Brazil includes “impunity for land acquisition in the area of ​​legal reserves and permanent protection, amnesty for land acquisition, and rapid removal of environmental protection since Jair Bolsonaro came to power,” the report said.

Looking at the role of deforestation in climate change, the report showed that more than 2.7 gigatonnes of CO emissions from illegal agricultural conversion accounts2 Per year – more than India’s emissions from fossil fuels in 2018-2018.

“We can’t address climate change unless we address illegal deforestation, and we can’t address illegal deforestation without addressing commercial food,” Blundell said.

This story was originally published by SciDev.Net

© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal Source: Inter Press Service

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