Environment & Biodiversity

WWF Report: Third of the Amazon Rainforest Destroyed or Degraded?

    The Living Amazon Report, 2022, was just published. The World Wildlife Fund prepared the report (WWF).

    • According to a new World Wildlife Fund report, the rainforest has either completely disappeared or is severely degraded to the extent of 35%.
    • According to the Living Amazon Report, 2022, an estimated 17% of the Amazon forests have been degraded and another 18% have been converted for other uses.

    Highlights of the report

    • The biggest complex of forests and rivers in the world can be found inside the 6.7 million square kilometre area known as the Amazon biome.
    • It is the source of 20% of the freshwater discharged into the Atlantic, and its soils and plants store 150-200 billion tonnes of carbon.
    • The rainforest has lost 35% of its original area or has been severely damaged.
    • An estimated 18% of the Amazon forests have been converted for other uses, while 17% have been degraded.
    • Rivers are becoming increasingly separated and filthy, and surface water has been lost.
    • The Amazon and the Earth as a whole may soon suffer irreparable damage as a result of this tremendous pressure.
    • Economic activities, including widespread agriculture and cattle ranching, criminal activity, and shoddy infrastructure planning, pose a threat to the area and degrade the biome overall, severely affecting several places.
    • A growing global concern that threatens the biodiversity of the Amazon is climate change.
    • To safeguard the Amazon, a variety of strategies and tactics must be used, balancing the need for conservation with the demands of the nations that make up the region for development.

    Strategies included

    • Conversion-free landscapes
    • Sustainably managed forests
    • Legal trade
    • Protecting the rights of local communities, women, children, and indigenous peoples
    • Policies, knowledge development, and communications cross-cutting strategies are also required for the preservation and sustainable management of the Amazon biome, its forests, and rivers.

    Amazon Forest

    • Nearly 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil, with the remaining 40% split among eight other South American nations: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and French Guiana, a French overseas territory.
    • The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, covering an area of South America that is enormous (6.7 million sq km).
    • It contains a diverse range of ecosystems and plant life, including savannas, deciduous woods, seasonal forests, and rainforests.
    • The Amazon River, the second-longest river in the world after the Nile, and the greatest river in the world in terms of discharge, drains the basin.
    • It is one of the last remaining habitats on Earth for jaguars, harpy eagles, and pink river dolphins.
    • Sloths, black spider monkeys, and poison dart frogs also call it home.
    • One in ten species known to exist on Earth can be found there, along with 40,000 plant species, 3,000 species of freshwater fish, and more than 370 different kinds of reptiles. In 2018, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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