Amazon fires: a climate disaster

15 September 2020

The Amazon, the world’s largest carbon sink and most biodiverse region, is burning. The forest fires are now spreading into virgin forests, deforesting millions of hectares across the region, affecting people’s health during a pandemic. Some of our colleagues in the region describe this climate disaster and what urgently needs to be done to recover from it.

Antonio Zambrano Allend, Coordinador, Nacional Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático MOCICC:

During this year, forest fires have increased by 120% throughout Peru, according to the National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR).

During the pandemic and the health emergency decreed in the country since March 15, illegal activities have not only not been stopped but have intensified, particularly illegal logging and activities to penetrate and expand the agricultural frontier in the Amazon, which is an additional consequence of the process of internal migration in Peru from Andean peasant communities to the Amazon basin.

This migration, in addition to having been historically promoted by the State, is a direct consequence of the droughts and intense soil erosion generated by climate change in the highlands.

In little more than a decade, Peru has lost more than 2 million hectares of forest in the Amazon basin and the rate of deforestation has reached new peaks in recent years without effective measures being prioritized by the State.

Karla Maass Wolfenson, Asesora LAC – Climate Action Network (CAN):

Es imperativo tomar la ventana de oportunidad del COVID19 para resetear los cimientos de nuestras sociedades hacia una en armonía con los límites planetarios y sobre la base del respecto a los derechos humanos y de la naturaleza.

Los incendios en el Amazonas, avalados por gobernantes indolentes y soberbios, están absolutamente fuera del marco del nuevo pacto socioecológico que se requiere para los desafíos que enfrentamos.

Gobernantes como Bolsonaro quedarán fuera del mapa.

Hemos visto que las empresas, la cooperación internacional, la ciudadania y los diversos actores no estatales apuestan por una reactivación transformadora y eso requiere que los 8 paises con territorio en el Amazonas no solo firmen el Acuerdo de Escazú y desarrollen Pactos, como Leticia, sino que sean operativos y diligentes para restaurar y remediar el ecosistema…por ti, por mi y por los que están por venir.

Juntxs por una reactivación Transformadora, es posible y urgente.

(It is imperative to take the COVID19 window of opportunity to reset the foundations of our societies towards one in harmony with planetary boundaries and human and nature rights.

The fires in the Amazon, endorsed by indolent and arrogant rulers, are absolutely outside the framework of the new socio-ecological pact required.

Rulers like Bolsonaro will be left off the map.

We have seen that companies, international cooperation, citizens, and non-state actors are betting on a transformative recovery and this requires that the 8 countries with Amazon territory not only sign the Ezcazu agreement and develop pacts, like the Leticia Pact, but be operative and diligent in restoring and remedying the ecosystem…for you, for me and for those to come.

It is possible and urgent.)

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