an amazon update

amazon rainforest brazil greenpeaceDeforestation is one of the root causes of our climate crisis. Tropical deforestation accounts for approximately 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the world’s entire transport sector, so tackling deforestation is key.

The Amazon is estimated to store between 80-120 billion tons of carbon. It is also home to more than 20 million people, including over 200,000 people from 180 different indigenous nations. It is the most bio-diverse region in the world!

Despite all this, deforestation continues at a breathtaking pace. One fifth of the Amazon has already been destroyed forever. If current rates of land clearing continue, the Amazon will be gone within fifty years.

Brazil is the fourth-largest climate polluter in the world, largely due to deforestation of the Amazon, where cattle ranches occupy 80% of all cleared areas. Following the release of Greenpeace’s report, Slaughtering the Amazon, and their campaign exposing the links between cattle ranching in the Amazon region and deforestation, big supermarket chains such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour and international shoe companies, like Nike, Adidas, Clarks, Geox and Timberland, have all made it clear they would not purchase leather or meat from the Brazilian slaughterhouses unless the suppliers could prove they were not sourcing from newly deforested areas.

More recently, Greenpeace activists protested against plans for the world’s third-largest hydroelectric dam to be built in the Amazon rainforest. Brazil awarded building rights for the US$11-17 billion project in the heart of the Amazon, on the Xingu River in the northern state of Para, amid outcry over the environmentally destructive impacts of the dam and displacement of indigenous people. The chosen site is an almost untouched island among so many devastated areas. Greenpeace activists sent a clear message that the dam will cause droughts along the 100 km of the Xingu River, displace thousands of indigenous people, and accelerate destruction of the rainforest.

Greenpeace’s Amazon Forest campaign team has worked tirelessly this year protecting the intact forests of the Amazon Basin and The Intrepid Foundation has provided financial support to help Greenpeace carry out this important work.

The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support Greenpeace and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!

* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.

* photo © Greenpeace

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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