Slaughtering the Amazon
by Daniel Brindis
June 9, 2009
The cattle sector in the Brazilian Amazon is the largest driver of deforestation in the world, responsible for an average of one acre lost every 8 seconds. Efforts to halt global deforestation emissions must tackle this sector.
Executive summary: Zero deforestation is a climate imperative
Forests play a vital role in stabilizing the world’s climate by storing large amounts of carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change. The Amazon is estimated to store 80-120 billion tons of carbon. If destroyed, some fifty times the annual GHG emissions of the USA could be emitted.
Destruction of the Amazon, the world’s most important forest carbon store, is being driven by the cattle sector.
The Brazilian Amazon has the greatest annual average deforestation by area of anywhere in the world. The cattle sector is the key driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. According to the Brazilian government, cattle are responsible for about 80% of all deforestation in the Amazon region.
The cattle sector in the Brazilian Amazon is responsible for 14% of the world’s annual deforestation.
This makes it the world’s largest driver of deforestation, responsible for more forest loss than the total deforestation in any country outside Brazil except Indonesia.
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Num. pages: 13