Reducing deforestation and creating new PAs are the ways to conserve the Amazon

05 setembro 2023

In August 2023, there was a 66.11% reduction in deforestation compared to August 2022
By WWF-Brazil

WWF-Brazil celebrates the announcements made by the Federal Government this Tuesday (5th), in the Amazon Day, with actions to combat deforestation and conserve the biome. During the event held in Brasília, decrees were signed for the approval of Indigenous Lands (ILs) and new Protected Areas (PAs), and authorities heralded the updating of the list of municipalities of priority attention, and the reduction of deforestation alerts in the Amazon.

For WWF-Brazil, the resumption of the ILs' demarcation processes and the creation of PAs are central elements in the fight against deforestation, especially in undesignated public lands, the main target of land grabbing, invasions and clear cutting in the Amazon.

Minister Sonia Guajajara announced the homologation of ILs Acapuri de Cima , in Fonte Boa (Amazonas state), belonging to the Kokáma people, and Rio Gregório, in Tarauacá (Acre state), belonging to the Yawanawá people. The authorities also signed the creation of the Parima National Forest, the expansion of the Maracá Ecological Station, the expansion of the Viruá National Park and the delivery of six Protected Areas in Roraima state.

The ILs and PAs play a fundamental role in maintaining biological diversity and the livelihoods of traditional communities, with the sustainable use of their natural resources and the protection of endangered species. Preserved, these areas also promote environmental awareness and collaborate directly and indirectly with the health of the population.

Science has already shown that the creation of new PAs and the protection of existing ones are effective measures to stop deforestation - in Brazil, the main vector of emission of greenhouse gases, which accelerate global warming.

Data from the Deter System, from Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), anticipated this Tuesday (5) by Minister Marina Silva show, in turn, that the resumption of efforts to combat deforestation and other illegal actions, such as land grabbing, invasion of public lands and gold mining are giving positive results in the Amazon. In August 2023, there was a 66.11% reduction in deforestation compared to August 2022.

The government has also updated the list of municipalities that will be priority targets in the fight against deforestation, where the government will direct environmental inspection actions, restriction of agricultural credit and suspension of authorisations for the suppression of native vegetation at the municipal level. The update responds to a request from civil society and means a great advance, but it still remains to be seen how the actions will be articulated with the strategies that are already underway in the municipalities.

For WWF-Brazil, today's announcements are important steps, but in order to ensure the conservation of the Amazon and advance towards zero deforestation, it is necessary to go further: accelerate the allocation of federal and state public lands, resume the governance of territories in the Amazon – especially those affected by the increase in mining and crime in recent years –, valuing the forest through payment for environmental services and sustainable extractivism, and engaging the private sector in commitments to traceability and transparency in commodity chains. All this reducing impacts and mitigating the frequency of extreme weather events for the most vulnerable groups. Because there is no future for the planet without the Amazon and its protected peoples.
In August 2023, there was a 66.11% reduction in deforestation compared to 2022
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