The forest is burning, whose fault is it?

Yann Guiguen

Since early July, fires have been raging in the forests of the Amazonas and Rondônia states in Brazil. More than 1000 hectares of vegetation have already gone up in smoke. An increase 4 times higher than the rate of deforestation experienced in July 2018.

The main cause of fires is the farming industry. Some farmers start fires to clear their land, a method that can intentionally or accidentally turn into a disaster during the dry season. Romulo Batista, a Greenpeace researcher, notes that: “A little more than 65% of the deforested land in the Amazon is now occupied by pastures”.

The Brazilian government’s policies are also directly involved in the destruction of the Amazonian forest. The State relaxes the environmental laws that protect it by allowing, for example, deforestation and the allocation of water without licences for economic activities.

The increase in deforestation in the Amazon is finally explained by the intensive consumption of beef and OMG soya in the European Union countries in particular. The international appetite for these products has propelled Brazil to become the world’s leading exporter of beef and soybeans.

It is therefore a shared responsibility to protect the Amazon, a precious resource for our planet, which is home to more than 50% of our biodiversity.


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