The ongoing cut-down of the Amazon rainforest threatens the climate and requires global tree planting projects: A short review

Wanxi Peng, Christian Sonne, Su Shiung Lam, Yong Sik Ok, Aage K.O. Alstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The Amazon rainforest has sustained human existence for more than 10,000 years. Part of this has been the way that the forest controls regional climate including precipitation important for the ecosystem as well as agroforestry and farming. In addition, the Amazon also affects the global weather systems, so cutting down the rainforest significantly increases the effects of climate change, threatening the world's biodiversity and causing local desertification and soil erosion. The current fire activities and deforestation in the Amazon rainforest therefore have consequences for global sustainability. In the light of this, the current decisions made in Brazil regarding an increase in Amazon deforestation require policy changes if the global ecosystems and biodiversity are not to be set to collapse. There is only one way to move forward and that is to increase efforts in sustainable development of the region including limitation in deforestation and to continuously measure and monitor the development. The G7 countries have offered Brazil financial support for at least 20 million euros for fighting the forest fires but the president denies receiving such financial support and says that it is more relevant to raise new forests in Europe. In fact, this is exactly what is happening in Denmark and China in order to reduce climate change. Such activities should be global and include South America, Europe, Africa and Asia where deforestation is important issue. Forest restoration reduces climate change, desertification, and preserves both the regional tropical and global environment if the wood is not burned at a later stage but instead used in e.g. roads as filling material. Changes are therefore needed through improved international understanding and agreements to better avoid the global climate changes, from cutting down the precious rainforest before it is too late as rainforest cannot be re-planted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108887
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume181
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb

Keywords

  • Amazon
  • Carbon foot print
  • Climate change
  • Forest
  • Policy
  • Tree
  • Trophic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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