The tallest tree in the Amazon — Anglém Vermelho at nearly 400 years old, has a circumference of 9.9 meters and a height of 88.5 metres, the equivalent of a 30-storey building — has become “in peril” by illegal work by land grabbers and miners, conservationists have warned. the environment.
The tree, which was discovered in September during an expedition supported by the NGO Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amaznia (Imazon), is part of a group of giant trees located in the State Forest (Flota) in Paro, on the borders of the states of Amapá.
It is larger, for example, than some major postcards in the world, such as the Great Chalk Sphinx (20 meters), in Egypt, Christ the Redeemer (38 meters), in Rio de Janeiro and the Leaning Tower (57 meters) in Italy. It hardly beats Big Ben (96 metres) in London, England, and the Statue of Liberty (93 metres), in New York, USA.
The Paru Flota is the third largest conservation unit of sustainable use in tropical forests in the world. The area of the biome is 36,000 square kilometres, about three times the size of Qatar, which hosted the 2022 World Cup.
In other words, sustainable exploitation of a part of the natural resources there is permitted as long as it is combined with nature conservation.
However, environmentalists claim that this is not what happens. According to them, the Paru Flota, which belongs to the largest block of protected areas in the world, suffers from the work of land producers and prospectors – in November it was the third most forest-conserved unit in the entire Amazon.
Data based on satellite imagery from Amazon’s Deforestation Alert System (SAD) shows that the forest has already lost 46.5 square kilometers of vegetation since 2008. The National Institute for Space Research (INPE), also based on satellite imagery, reports an even greater number. In the same period: 74 square kilometers.
Both point to a peak in deforestation in 2019, the first year of the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who is accused of benefiting deforestation and criticizing his environmental policy with regard to the Amazon. Since 2019, Parliament has been governed by Helder Barballo (MDB), who was re-elected in the October elections. He remained neutral in that year’s presidential election and announced his support for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party) in the last election.
Last Thursday (12/15), Amazon and nine other NGOs launched the Network online campaign Using the hashtag #ProtejaAsGigantesTrees, with the aim of drawing community attention to the need for the Equality Government to inspect and monitor the area.
According to Jacqueline Pereira, an Amazon researcher and consultant to Flota do Baru, the giant trees are threatened by land grabs and, above all, illegal gold mining.
“At the southern end of the conservation unit, there is a change in land occupation, with land leased for cultivation and illegal logging,” she tells BBC News Brasil.
“But the illegal gold mines are closest to the trees. And although the deforestation they cause is not very great, because they open up a small area in the forest and use artisanal methods, the effect ends, because the mercury is used and promotes the movement of people within the conservation unit. A survey estimated the number of workers Mines in the region in 2009 increased to 2,000,” he adds.
In order to get to the place where the giant trees are, on the last expedition in September, Pereira says, “researchers went through gold mines.”
“The place is a hard-to-reach area, with rivers with waterfalls. You have to walk for a long time in the woods, so the access is really bad,” he says.
According to the specialist, these giant trees are not uncommon in the area – Anglim vermelho is a “type of wood”, which usually grows “between 25 and 30 metres,” she explains.
At 88.5 metres, the giant Anglém Vermelho has become the fourth tallest living tree ever documented. Guinness World RecordsEnrollment book. The largest sequoia in the world is 116 meters long. It is located in Redwood National Park, in the state of California, in the United States.
According to Pereira, “In addition to the largest tree in the Amazon, the Paru Flota has many endemic species, those found only in a particular area. It is an important area for preserving local biodiversity, containing climate change, and has huge potential for ecotourism and extraction plant, which can to generate income from the perennial forest.”
He concludes, “Therefore, we cannot lose our heritage to these criminals, we need supervision and effective implementation of the administration’s plan to prevent destruction.”
From January to November, 10,286 square kilometers of forests are cut down in the Amazon, the equivalent of more than 3,000 football fields per day. The worst result accumulated over the past 15 years, according to data from the Amazon Deforestation Alert System (SAD). Nominal alone was responsible for deforestation of 279 square kilometers in November, nearly half of what was recorded in the entire Amazon.
the other side
In a statement sent to BBC News Brasil, the Government of Paru, through the Institute for Forest Development and Biodiversity (IDEFLOR-Bio) reported that it had “received a complaint of land grabbers invading the Conservation Unit (UC) areas of the State Forests of Paru (Flota Paru), Which is under a forest concession, in the southeastern part of (UC), specifically in Forest Management Units (FMU) 1 and 2, which add up to 190,000 hectares and represent 5.3% of FLOTA (3.613 million acres).”
“Since December 8, a team from the Ideflor-Bio Public Forestry Management Board, the State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability (Semas) and the Civil Police, including the Scientific Police, have been present in the area under the forest concession, investigating these complaints and we also know that it is Through the Directorate of Management and Control of Conservation Units (DGMUC), Ideflor has advanced the implementation of conservation units, creating important management tools such as: developing management plans (UCs), using a participatory methodology from all sectors representing organized civil society, and ensuring direct participation as co-managers on governing boards , and discuss and provide solutions to all problems involving conservation units,” the note concludes.
– This text was published in https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-63995033
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