I have written a thread in response to @filgmartin's (Filipe G. Martin) thread, regarding his criticism to the outrage of the current events happening on #PrayforAmazonas.

If you read his thread to the fullest, I encourage you to read my response as well:
But before that, I want to thank everybody sincerely who pushed my tweet for encouragement up! And I want to thank the next people coming here as well for taking their time of to talk about this matter!

Now let's get into it!
I responded to 5 statements he made in his thread. I'll list them up:

1. 60% of Brazil's territory (8.516.000 km2) is covered by native vegetation

2. Agricultural activity covers 29% of Brazil's territory which is lower than elsewhere with relevant agricultural activity.

3. Brazil has the largest share of protected areas (24,2%) in Brazil's territory

4. Deforestation rate decreased from 27.700 km2 in 2004 to 7500 km2 in 2019 (72% reduction)

5. Emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest are small in comparison to other countries.

What I researched:

1. The number comes from a study from the Strategic Territorial Intelligence Group (GITE) of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA).

EMBRAPA was established in 1973 and has a budget value of 1.1 billion US dollars. It's mission is quote to "Facilitate solutions for research, development and innovation for sustainable agriculture for the benefit of Brazilian society." ...

and simultaneously to counter the international criticism that Brazilian agricultural workers are deforesters.

The study gives some percentages of how cultivated the territories of different countries are:

Brazil: 7,6%
Denmark: 76,8%
Ireland: 74,7%
Netherlands: 66,2%
United Kingdom: 63,9%
Germany: 56,9%

Of course, these are relative numbers. Let's take a look on absolute numbers:

Brazil's cultivated territory: 639.944,79 km2
vs. Cultivated territories from...

Denmark: 32.972 km2
Ireland: 63.062 km2
Netherlands: 28.140 km2
United Kingdom: 154.954 km2
Germany: 203.352 km2

Brazil has 32,6% MORE cultivated croplands than these countries TOGETHER.

If we add the land for cattle ranching, we would be at 33,81% of cultivated land in Brazil.

Even more absurd: An article on that study said this: "Denmark cultivates ten times as much as Brazil."

Nonetheless, the other 66,19% of "native vegetation" also needed to be broken down: -20% in vacant lands, relief, inland waters, etc...; -13% in indigenous lands which leaves us at 33,19% of "untouched" native vegetation.

Fact number 1 is therefore false.

2. Let's define and analyze a few things:

A. "Relevant agricultural activity":
It is referring to the size of the primary sector or the agricultural sector in relation with the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country.

Countries with relevant agricultural activity of over 5% are, e.g.:

Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Iran, Argentina, Turkey, Colombia, China, Brazil

B. "Agricultural activity" means any of the following:
(1) Any activity directly related to the production or processing of crops, dairy products, poultry, or livestock for initial commercial sale or as a principal means of personal subsistence.

(2) Any activity directly related to the cultivation or harvesting of trees.
(3) Any activity directly related to fish farms.

Having defined that, let's look at the numbers:

Earlier, we have established that 33,81% of Brazil's territory is used for agriculture. This is higher than the claimed 29%. Let's compare this number with the countries mentioned:

Nigeria: 77,74%
India: 60,45%
Indonesia: 31,46%
Thailand: 43,38%
Iran: 28,21%
Argentina: 54,34%
Turkey: 50,08%
Colombia: 40,26%
China: 56,22%

And now the absolute numbers:

Brazil: 2.879.259 km2
Nigeria: 718.133 km2
India: 1.986.991 km2
Indonesia: 599.313 km2
Thailand: 222.591 km2
Iran: 464.900,8 km2
Argentina: 1.510.652 km2
Turkey: 392.407 km2
Colombia: 459.769 km2
China: 5.395.433 km2

As you can tell, Brazil far outnumbers many of these countries except for China which is quite understandable, regarding its demograpics.

Fact number 2 is therefore rather wrong than right.

How do we judge environmental legislation? Let's consider e.g.:
- territory size
- its effectiveness and
- its reactions from the public

However, I will only judge Brazil's environmental legislation only.

24,2% of Brazil's territory is an undeniably large area to be protected. Looking at the map of protected areas of the world, Brazil definitely is important regarding environmental protection.

But while other countries are keeping up these legislation, Bolsanaro has achieved the following since his presidency regarding environmental legislation:

- firing and replacing personnel from the military to reduce the authority of IBAMA, Brazil's environmental agency and ICMBio which manages conservation areas. This also benefits wealthy elite agribuisnesses and mining interests

- raised the appeal to fine environmentalists more easily and prevent funds from NGOs for envrionmental projects via penalties


*I must open another thread since it is getting long. Hold on to it people, you must endure this! Haha.
This of course caused huge criticism towards his new legislations, saying that it would only benefit a few people ("ruralists") rather than many people.
Fact number 3 is portrayed in a deflecting light and should be taken carefully.

The big reduction was captured between 2004 and 2012 (80%) before it was trending upward again. The number for 2019, however, comes from last year. Currently, the situation is different than from last year, quote:

"The most recent DETER *(Detecção de Desmatamento em Tempo Real) data suggest more than 4200 square kilometers of forest were chopped out of the Brazilian Amazon between 1 January, when Bolsonaro took office, and 24 July. ...

... That’s 50% more than in the first 7 months of 2018, and more than double the area cleared in the same period in 2017."

Fact number 4 is therefore wrong.

Brazil's emissions are fairly low. According to Wikipedia, they emit less than all aircraft/ international aviation combined.

However, that does not make Brazil less responsible for the fact that the human impact on the Amazon is a big contributor of destroying its biomass, risking a disruption of its long-term carbon storage.

25% of anthropogenic emissions are offset by terrestrial carbon sink in which tropical forests are major contributors. Global deforestation lead to a loss of 130.000 km2 of forests per year, estimated between 2000 and 2010. 1/3 for this loss is related to South America.

The consequences of the deforestation in the Amazon are described here:

The authors of a research investigation in 2017 concluded:
"Overall, our results indicate that land use change continues to erode the carbon storage of the Amazon basin ...
...while climate change is impairing its capacity to sequester carbon through natural processes of regrowth, raising concerns on the long-term resilience of land-based mitigation strategies."

Fact 5 is therefore missing the point of the impacts of deforestation -> wrong.

That is it with the thread. Following that, I will link my sources here. Thank you for reading up to here! Share it so that as many people as possible can view and respond to @filgmartin! #PrayforAmazonas #PrayforAmazonia
#Amazonas #AmazonRainforest #AmazonFire #Amazonia
Original tweet:

Here, you can find some explanations about the importance of tropical rainforests and some advice on dealing with this issue in nearby reach. Go donate! Speak out! Spread awareness! We can't get enough!
- news.mongabay.com/2019/01/as-bra…
- economist.com/graphic-detail…
- news.mongabay.com/2019/05/disman…
- sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/d…
- nature.com/articles/s4159… (Title: "Impact of deforestation and climate on the Amazon Basin’s above-ground biomass during 1993–2012")

Extra information:

*Additionally, an EMBRAPA specialist says that "Europeans have intensely deforested and explored their territory. ...

... Europe, without Russia, used to contain over 7% of the planet's original forests. Today there is only 0.1%. The sum of France's cultivated area (31,795,512 hectares) with Spain's (31,786,945 hectares) is equivalent to the onecultivated in Brazil (63,994,709 hectares)".

Let's look at the numbers again:

Currently, forests cover 31% of the world's land surface or 46,28 million km2. Europe without Russia contains around 2 million km2. Therefore, Europe alone contains 4,3% of all global forests instead of a tiny 0,1%.

According to "Scientific Reports", 6000 years ago, these forests were twice as big than today before the intense deforestation took place in Europe due to agricultural land and wood demand as the leading causes.

However, reforestation programmes, especially after the Second World War, lead to Europe becoming greener since 1900 and eventually to today's percentage.


If you read up to here, I'm very glad and proud of you that you have just informed yourself! Enjoy your day!
One correction: replace "cultivated land" with "agricultural land". Thank you.

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