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They present a new Atlas of the Amazon that will help sustainable planning

Quito, Dec 8 (EFE) .- The new Atlas of the Amazon presented this Tuesday will be a fundamental support for the planning of sustainable development, in order to face the rampant deforestation, the impact of illegal mining and fires in that area known as the lung of the world. This was pointed out to Efe by Carmen Josse, director of the environmental foundation EcoCiencia, which is part of the Amazonian Network of Georeferenced Socio-environmental Information (Raisg), which has been monitoring the environmental situation of the jungle for several years, and which presented its “Amazon Atlas Under Pressure “For Josse, this research is an instrument that seeks to” draw the attention of rulers “and that could allow governments and decision makers in the region to locate development alternatives for this Amazon rainforest, which he considers essential against climate change. He considered that, although there is “information and evidence of what is happening, there are no actions” to reverse the situation. And, according to the study, 7% of the Amazon territory is under “very high” pressure and another 26% suffers from a “high” threat. The Amazon area with the greatest pressure is the western one, especially in Ecuador, in the north of Venezuela and in the south of the Brazilian Amazon, adds a summary of the investigation. JOINING FORCES For Josse, it is time to join forces to search for alternatives and sustainable development options “that do not end the environmental services that the Amazon provides to all of humanity.” For this reason, the Atlas provides “a lot of information that can support” in the elaboration of these sustainable development plans and even influence multilateral organizations to support preservation. Josse said that, although there are regional entities that work with this objective, such as the Amazon Basin Treaty Organization, there have not been effective actions that allow finding solutions to the great pressures that are subjecting the region. For example – he proposed – a large part of the Amazon has been dedicated to oil exploitation, but it has the highest poverty rates, which may lead to the assumption that extractive activity has not been a solution for this area of ​​the planet. Therefore, for the director of EcoCiencia, “there must be another look” at this reality and, for example, deforestation must be stopped in this “largest continuous forest in the world.” and it is that, according to the Raisg study, the Amazonian territories inhabited by indigenous peoples and the areas classified as protected areas in this jungle have become “a shield against devastation”, although they are also vulnerable. The research assures that, despite the fact that 2003 was the worst year for the forests of the Amazon due to deforestation, with a loss of 49,240 square kilometers, an acceleration of this threat has been noticed since 2015. Only during 2018 31,269 square kilometers were deforested of forests in the entire Amazon, “the highest annual deforestation since that 2003 peak,” the study says. It also points out that between 2000 and 2018, the advance of deforestation in the Amazon region accumulated the loss of 513,016 square kilometers of native forest, a territory equivalent to the surface of Spain. Mining activity has also exerted constant pressure on the Amazon for several decades and is one of the causes of deforestation, pollution and social conflicts. In the Atlas, 4,472 Amazonian localities have been identified that are being affected by illegal mining, the same one that exerts harmful effects on the land and rivers. More than half of these points are in Brazil (53.8%), while in Venezuela that rate reaches 32%, reveals the Atlas, which adds that 13% of the Amazon area has been exposed to fires since 2001 (1.1 million square kilometers). Raisg argues that, on average, since 2001, 169,000 square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest have been burned annually. (c) EFE Agency

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