Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | January 1st, 2019
Forest fires, green energy, and air and water pollution made constant headlines in 2018. But the new year brings new efforts, and now a different environmental concern is coming to the forefront: deforestation.
United Nations Environment has launched an aggressive plan to end deforestation by 2020. The UK, France, and Germany have all called on the EU to follow the steps of the proposed initiative. It’s thought that this plan is being pushed forward partially in reaction to the Brazilian presidential hopeful Jair Bolsonaro and his pledges to build a highway through the Amazon and withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Most deforestation–80% globally, in fact–is caused by agribusiness. While it’s understood that space is needed for certain types of crops and livestock, organizations like the High Carbon Stock Initiative would help determine the minimum amount of land that could be safely used for agriculture and which forest areas should be preserved for biodiversity.
Looking towards the future, it’s hard to say how Brazil’s election will effect deforestation in the Amazon, or the resistance and backlash this movement might incite. Regardless of the risks, the UN and EU are determined to end this practice within the next few years.