RAINFOREST GETS PROTECTED STATUS

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RAINFOREST GETS PROTECTED STATUS

 user 2006-12-11 at 12:41:00 pm Views: 46
  • #16894

    Rainforest gets protected status
    Vast tracts of rainforest in Brazil are to get a new protected status.
    The
    segments of land in the northern Para state together cover 16.4 million
    hectares (63,320 sq miles), an area of land that is bigger than
    England.Thousands of wildlife species inhabit the pristine forest,
    including jaguars, anteaters and colourful macaws.Campaigners say the
    decision made by Para Governor Simao Jatene is one of the most
    important conservation initiatives of recent years.It will protect the
    land from the unsustainable logging and agriculture practices that have
    blighted many parts of the Amazon.”If any tropical rainforest on Earth
    remains intact a century from now, it will be this portion of northern
    Amazonia, due in large part to the governor’s visionary achievement,”
    said Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International.”The
    region has more undisturbed rainforest than anywhere else, and the new
    protected areas being created by Para state represent an historic step
    toward ensuring that they continue to conserve the region’s rich
    biodiversity and maintain its essential ecosystem services.”

    Conservation corridor
    Nine
    new areas will gain protection, and they will link with existing
    reserves to form a huge conservation corridor in the northern
    Amazon.This corridor, known as the Guyana Shield region, stretches from
    neighbouring Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana into Brazil.It is
    regarded a global conservation priority, containing more than 25% of
    Earth’s humid tropical forests. Almost 90% of the Guyana Shield forest
    is untouched, and the area also contains the most significant
    freshwater reserves in the American tropics: almost 20% of the world’s
    water runs through it.Endangered species in the new protected areas
    include the giant otter and northern bearded saki monkey; and
    “flagship” species such as the jaguar, giant anteater and black spider
    monkey.Since 1970, more than 600,000 sq kilometres (230,000 sq miles)
    of Amazon rainforest – an area larger than France – is said to have
    been destroyed.Conservation International said continued deforestation
    at this rate would place the entire region in peril by 2050, and place
    increasing pressure on the planet from the additional greenhouse gasses
    being pumped into the atmosphere, which would usually stored by the
    trees.Adalberto Verissimo, senior researcher at the Amazon Institute of
    People and the Environment (Imazon), which is working in collaboration
    with the Para State Government and Conservation International (CI),
    said: “This is the greatest effort in history toward the creation of
    protected areas in tropical forests.”