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Highest Level Of Deforestation In Brazilian Amazon For Eight Years




A backwards step in the conservation of the Brazilian Amazon as deforestation increases by 29%.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has grown to around 8 thousand km² in the last year – August 2015 to July 2016 – an increase of 29% over the same period of the previous year. This is the highest number released by the federal government since 2009, when it registered 7,464 km². The data were released on the website of the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), from the Amazon Deforestation Calculation Programme (Prodes), on Tuesday afternoon (29/11).

For a country that became known for its international leadership in tackling deforestation in the early 2000s by reducing Amazon deforestation by up to 80% – from almost 27,000 km² in 2005 to just over 4,500 km² in 2012 – these recent figures signal a backsliding.

Sarah Hutchison, WWF Head of Programmes – Brazil & Amazon said:

“This dramatic increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is cause for considerable alarm and action. Sadly this is another example of the challenges faced globally. Our recent Living Planet Report has shown how wildlife populations globally – a window into the health of our planet – have declined by almost 60% since 1970. Habitat loss and degradation, like that seen in the Amazon, are driving forces threatening these wildlife populations as well as the vital ecosystem services provided by nature. The Amazon forest, for example, plays a vital role in our planet’s climate regulation.

“Brazil has in the past demonstrated that reductions in deforestation are possible. It is in everyone’s interest that Brazil progresses on its commitments of the Paris accord to end illegal deforestation. International businesses and financiers have an important role to play in eliminating deforestation from their supply chains and investments, however the drivers of deforestation in Brazil are complex and tackling them also require decisive action by the Brazilian government to put in place mechanisms to better value forests, revitalize deforestation prevention plans at federal and state level and improve land planning practices if these valuable rainforests are to be saved.”

There are several challenges to be overcome if we are to stop deforestation. Among them are a weak land planning, despite the efforts of the country’s Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), and strong land speculation, which plays a significant role in the loss of natural habitats.

Ricardo Mello, coordinator of WWF-Brazil’s Amazon Program said:

“From 2014 until now the upward trend keeps growing. It is more than evident that if urgent action isn’t taken, deforestation could become out of control. Every increase is further from Brazil’s international commitments.

“In addition, we see that the federal government has great difficulty in integrating with states and municipalities, fundamental for the successful implementation of Brazil’s prevention plan for combatting deforestation (PPCDAM,) – one of the policies responsible in the last decade for the success in reducing deforestation. Finally, Brazil does not have mechanisms to value its forests, which could provide better incentives for sustainable supply chains for Amazonian products”

With this year’s deforestation figures, it is clear that Brazil still needs to work hard if it wants to make its fair contribution to international climate commitments. The Brazilian goal in the Paris Accord is to reduce emissions by 43% (based on 2005), to end illegal deforestation and to reforest 12 million hectares by 2030. For this to happen, it must act drastically from now on. However, instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the country showed an increase of 3.5%, despite the country’s recent economic setbacks and drop in production.


Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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