Brazil’s Water Sources Have Declined by 15% in Just 30 Years

Brazil’s Water Sources Have Declined by 15% in Just 30 Years

By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Between 1991 and 2020, Brazil lost 15% of its surface water, a new study shows. The country holds the most water resources globally, but both the world’s most extensive wetlands and rainforests are losing water at rapid rates. Now, severe drought and deforestation threaten water security and access to energy and food for millions, […]

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U.S., Britain, Norway Announce Coalition to Protect Tropical Forests

U.S., Britain, Norway Announce Coalition to Protect Tropical Forests

On the first day of President Biden’s Global Climate Summit, the United States, Britain, and Norway announced that they are teaming up with the world’s most influential companies to incentivize nations to protect tropical forests by mobilizing at least $1 billion this year for large-scale projects. 

Why This Matters: Tropical forests are one of the world’s largest carbon sinks and one of the most quickly deteriorating.

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Global Carbon Pollution Reached Pre-Pandemic Levels Again by the End of 2020

Global Carbon Pollution Reached Pre-Pandemic Levels Again by the End of 2020

According to a report out on Tuesday from the International Energy Agency, while the pandemic allowed a brief reprieve from the uptick in global carbon dioxide emissions, global carbon pollution had returned to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020.  Carbon emissions in Brazil, India, and China were all up over 2019 levels.

Why this Matters:  Under the Paris Agreement, nations agreed to prevent the rise in global temperature from reaching two degrees Celsius and keeping the rise under 1.5 degrees celsius, but that won’t be possible if our emissions start going up again.

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Bolsonaro’s Military Strategy Fails to Protect Amazon from Deforestation

Bolsonaro’s Military Strategy Fails to Protect Amazon from Deforestation

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s most recent effort to reduce the destruction of the Amazon rainforest has failed, The Washington Post reports. Bolsonaro’s plan to deploy military troops and take illegal mining operations by surprise ultimately failed when miners got wind of it. 

Why This Matters: The health of the Amazon rainforest is crucial in the fight against climate change.

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Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Fires are “ravaging” the biodiversity-rich Pantanal region of Brazil, Jake Spring of Reuters reported Tuesday. In the first fifteen days of August alone, the national space research agency of Brazil recorded 3,121 fires, which is almost five times greater than last year. Already, 6% of the Pantanal burned from January to July due to high temperatures, dry conditions, and high winds.

Why This Matters: As the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal is home to key biodiversity.

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Brazil Under Fire As Amazon Burning Is Connected to Soy and Beef Exports

Brazil Under Fire As Amazon Burning Is Connected to Soy and Beef Exports

A recent study published in Science found that a significant percentage of beef and soy exported from Brazil to the EU is connected with illegal deforestation. As YaleE360 reported  that “as much as 22 percent of soy and 60 percent of beef…back to illegal tree felling and fires in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.”

Why This Matters: The study’s lead author Raoni Rajão said, “Until now, agribusiness and the Brazilian government have claimed that they cannot monitor the entire supply chain, nor distinguish the legal from the illegal deforestation.” This new study undercuts that idea, showing that Brazil can (and must) monitor agribusiness’ connections to illegal deforestation.

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