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“The Amazon is the most stunning place on Earth – we simply cannot afford to lose it. That’s why FFI is working with our local partners, communities and government officials to find a solution to deforestation”.
Fauna & Flora International Technical Director in Brazil
Though “save the rainforest” slogans have been around for decades, our planet’s tropical forests are under more serious threat than ever. The Amazon is the largest rainforest on Earth and harbours a dazzling array of species. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is on the frontline of forest conservation in the southern edge of the Amazon in Brazil, where the forest is most threatened.
Many people make the mistake of thinking all tropical rainforests are more or less the same; but in fact, many kinds of plants and animals that you find in the Amazon, and how they interact with each other, are distinct from those found in the rainforests of South-east Asia and Africa.
Humans are causing the destruction of the Earth’s tropical rainforests at an astonishing rate. It is estimated that 13 million hectares of forest – roughly the size of Greece– is lost every year. Deforestation is caused by a plethora of phenomenon, from small-scale subsistence farms inching into the forest to vast soy or palm oil plantation expansion driven by global demand. Logging for timber is of course a huge cause of deforestation as well.
Choose wood products that have the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on them, which means they have been made form sustainably harvested timber. Buy paper products that are recycled which reduces demand for timber from virgin forests.
FFI is working with the Italian energy company eni E&P, its Ecuadorian subsidiary Agip Oil Ecuador (AOE) and the Catholic University in Quito to create a model of good practice within the oil sector in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The university and AOE are investigating both primary and secondary impacts of oil production on biodiversity. The findings are being used to draft an action plan for AOE and to inform eni environmental management systems.
Despite the global importance of the Brazilian Amazon and the official Brazilian government strategy to protect it, the world’s largest forest is threatened by cattle ranching, illegal logging, new access roads and agriculture. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working to curb the advance of deforestation by supporting the Cristalino Ecological Foundation (CEF) and other partners to protect 6,000 hectares of private reserves adjacent to the Cristalino State Park which are critical to maintaining its integrity.
External link: Cristalino Ecological Foundation
60% of the Amazon is in Brazil, in an area larger than western Europe – the rest of the Amazon spans across Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.