POSTED BY ECOLOGICAL IN CONSERVATION, UNCATEGORIZED ON NOVEMBER 18, 2014 – iconicon
Imagine the Grão-Pará Ecological Reserve in the Amazon. Part of the world’s largest strictly protected area, the rainforest stretches seemingly forever, echoing with the sound of birds, insects and primates. Rivers tumble-down waterfalls on their long, winding journeys to the sea.
Then the forest gives way to open land. The trees are gone, the forest canopy disappears. There’s a giant crater in the ground: gold mines.
Fortunately for the more than 60 types of mammals and hundreds of plants and bird species – as well as forest-dependent communities – no logging or mining is allowed within the 4.2 million hectare ecological reserve. The boundaries of Grão-Pará are holding firm against the deforestation front bearing down on it.
“Deforestation fronts” exist where large-scale deforestation or severe degradation is projected between now and 2030. WWF has identified 10 such places, and the Amazon is the biggest. Globally, these areas could account for over 80 per cent of the forest loss projected by 2030 – up to 150 million hectares (an area roughly the size of Mongolia).
The drivers of deforestation in these places are diverse – expanding infrastructure, mining and agriculture, sometimes through corporations operating at industrial scale, and sometimes due to poor rural populations encroaching into forests to secure land, gather firewood or prospect for gold.
Parks under pressure
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