Reuters and Afp

La Jornada newspaper
Monday, September 6, 2021, p. 28

Marseilles. Indigenous groups yesterday urged world leaders to back a new goal to protect 80 percent of the Amazon basin by 2025, warning that bold action is needed to halt deforestation that is pushing the planet’s largest rainforest to a halt. point of no return.

The Amazonian delegates launched their campaign at the World Conservation Congress, where thousands of officials, scientists and activists seek to lay the groundwork for the UN talks on biodiversity in the Chinese city of Kunming next year.

We invite the global community to join us in reversing the destruction of our home and, by doing so, safeguarding the future of the planet, declared José Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, leader of the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (Coica), who represents indigenous groups in nine countries of the Amazon basin.

Just under 50 percent of the Amazon basin is currently under some form of official protection or indigenous administration, according to research published last year, but pressure from ranching, mining and oil exploration is mounting.

In Brazil, home to 60 percent of the biome, deforestation has increased since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019, reaching a high of more than a decade last year.

The Amazon basin as a whole has lost 18 percent of its original forestation, while another 17 percent has been degraded, according to a study published in July by the Science Panel for the Amazon, based on research by 200 scientists.

If deforestation reaches 20-25 percent, it could lead the Amazon into a spiral where it will dry up and turn into a savanna, according to Brazilian scientist Carlos Nobre.

Plastic pollution

In another topic, at the Marseille forum, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) asserted that the real cost of producing plastic and supporting its long-term pollution represented 3.7 billion dollars in 2019, and specified that if nothing is done To tackle the effects of the contamination of this material, that astronomical figure will double between now and 2040, reaching a total of 7.1 billion dollars annually.

The cost of 3.7 trillion represents more than India’s GDP, he indicated in a study.

Its doubling in 2040 would imply exceeding the combined wealth of Germany, Canada and Australia (2019 figures), and is practically equivalent (85 percent) to the money the planet spent on health that year.

This report shows that governments and citizens are subsidizing, without knowing it, a system that imposes an immeasurable negative impact on nature, said the WWF, which noted that it is the first global assessment made of the impact of this oil derivative.

Every year 11 million tons of plastic end up in the sea, and by 2040, if the current model of production and recycling is not changed, that figure will triple.

The international community must commit to stopping the dumping of plastic in the seas by 2030, the organization calls.