Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brazil and good news on deforestation

One of the hard things to make students understand is how to protect biodiversity. The usual answer we get is do not hunt endangered species, etc. What they fail to grasp is that the major way is to prevent habitat loss, especially by establishment of bioreserves and preventation of deforestation.

That is why I find this article to be interesting. It shows the effect of policies in Brazil in combating deforestation.

What has been happenning? In the last ten years, the amount of deforestation per year has been declining steadily. It is now only 70% of what it was in 2004.

The authors identify the following factors leading to this reduction: monitoring, frontier goverance, government policies, new protected areas, pressure from environmental groups, and macroeconomic trends. It points out that it was the combination of these things not any one specifically.

One interesting thing is that Brazil does not only establish national parks, but also has other "strict protection areas": sustainable use areas, indigenous territories (where large scale logging and plantations are not allowed), and agarian reform settlements.

One conclusion of the article is that in order to keep continuing this trend of reduced deforestation, farmers, ranchers, and other land users must be given further incentives.

This a good example of what is really neccessary for progress in reducing deforestation and therefore protecting biodiversity. Now if others would take this seriously.

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