Connect with us


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.


Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness



Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

Continue Reading


6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move



Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

Continue Reading