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Amazon Burns and Panama’s Darien Deforestation

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Amazon burns, Panama improvises

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Posted 25/08/2019

The fire that occurs in the Amazon, lung of our planet - generates 20% of the earth's oxygen - is of apocalyptic proportions. This, in a world so polluted and environmentally fragile, is almost equivalent to cutting the fourth leg of a table. The tragedy is colossal from any angle that is seen. The emissions contributed by the massive combustion of organic material will make a long-term deposit in the global warming account. The president of Brazil, without providing a single test, blames NGOs for deliberately causing the fires, in revenge for the cut of funds decreed by his government. Bolsonaro's environmental policy has already caused several European countries to suspend cooperation to the Amazon Fund, and the president of France accuses his peer of lying about his environmental commitments. Maybe we should ask ourselves now, are we Panamanians learning something from all this? Our jungle of Darién, increasingly intervened, is not exempt from suffering damages of similar proportions. The way the crisis is managed in Brazil and the response of the international community must matter to us. If we are not prepared to face something like this, it is useful to know at least what it takes to do it. We must break the vicious circle of improvisation. - LA PRENSA, August 25

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/amazon-burns-panama-improvises

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Posted (edited)

Climate Change has been a principal agenda item for world leaders at the G7 Conference in France this weekend and was the subject of a major bilateral meeting this morning. It was voted to send $20 million to the Amazon basin nations to assist in fire fighting there. 

Canada’s Prime Minister offered to send $15 million in aid and water bombers to the region.

Most notably, the President of the U.S.A. did not attend nor did he participate in any discussions on the subject. Instead he chose to speak about increased U.S. production of fossil fuel in the form of LNG gas. He also criticized alternative energy wind farms.

This is discouraging for the rest of the hemisphere, including us here in Panama.

image.png.6c1dcfd373c960f9d5faad2ecad3f02a.png

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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14 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Climate Change has been a principal agenda item for world leaders at the G7 Conference in France this weekend and was the subject of a major bilateral meeting this morning. It was voted to send $20 million to the Amazon basin nations to assist in fire fighting there. 

Canada’s Prime Minister offered to send $15 million in aid and water bombers to the region.

Most notably, the President of the U.S.A. did not attend nor did he participate in any discussions on the subject. Instead he chose to speak about increased U.S. production of fossil fuel in the form of LNG gas. He also criticized alternative energy wind farms.

This is discouraging for the rest of the hemisphere, including us here in Panama.

image.png.6c1dcfd373c960f9d5faad2ecad3f02a.png

 

 

Mr. Woolford,

 

You wrote:

 

"Most notably, the President of the U.S.A. did not attend nor did he participate in any discussions on the subject."

 

The fact is the United States chose to not participate in the Paris Accord climate change initiative hence the reason that President Trump did not attend this segment of the G7 conference.   President Trump had good reason for not participating in the Paris Accord, the United States would've faced more than a decade of substantial fines, enormous increases in energy costs, as well as providing billions of dollars annually to developing nations.  Many countries including China and India were immune from fines as well as not having to provide billions of dollars annually to developing nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brazil Says It Will Reject $22 Million in Amazon Aid Pledged at G7

Manuela Andreoni

RIO DE JANEIRO — Hours after leaders of some of the world’s wealthiest countries pledged more than $22 million to help combat fires in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil’s government angrily rejected the offer, in effect telling the other nations to mind their own business — only to later lay out potential terms for the aid’s acceptance.

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil expressed his ire in a series of Twitter posts on Monday, and specifically criticized and taunted President Emmanuel Macron of France, who had announced the aid package at the Group of 7 summit meeting. Their comments extended a verbal feud between the two leaders.

But early the next day, Mr. Bolsonaro offered possible terms for the acceptance of the aid package when he spoke to reporters in the capital, Brasília.

He said that if Mr. Macron withdrew “insults made to my person,” and what Mr. Bolsonaro interpreted as insinuations that Brazil does not have sovereignty over the Amazon, he would reconsider.

“To talk or accept anything from France, even with their very best intentions, he will have to withdraw his words, and then we can talk,” Mr. Bolsonaro said. “First he withdraws them, then he makes the offer, and then I’ll answer.”

Mr. Bolsonaro, who has suggested earlier that Mr. Macon’s real motive is to shield France’s agriculture from Brazilian competition, had tweeted on Monday that the president “disguises his intentions behind the idea of an ‘alliance’ of the G7 countries to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if we were a colony or a no-man’s land.”

His chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, told the Globo broadcast network that the administration would be turning down the offer, and insulted Mr. Macron with a reference to the fire that gutted the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris in April. The Brazilian government later confirmed his comments, Globo reported.

“Thanks, but perhaps these resources are more relevant to reforesting Europe,” Mr. Lorenzoni told the news organization. “Can Macron not even prevent a predictable fire in a church that is a World Heritage Site and wants to teach what for our country? He has a lot to look after at home and in the French colonies.”

More than 26,000 forest fires have been recorded in the Amazon rainforest this month, the highest number in a decade, setting off international outrage and calls for greater protections.

The forests absorb a significant share of the planet’s climate-warming carbon dioxide, are home to Indigenous peoples, and are a vital habitat for endangered species.

In an interview with the Brazilian television program “Roda Vida,” the country’s environment minister, Ricardo Salles, seemed to contradict Mr. Lorenzoni’s view.

He said he thought “it is important to accept the help that was offered,” because it would provide equipment to help combat the fires.

Mr. Bolsonaro has been widely criticized by environmentalists for calls to open up protected parts of the Amazon rainforest for logging, farming, mining and other development, which many say has caused further exploitation of the region. The illegally set fires and resulting deforestation, critics say, are being driven by his policies.

Mr. Bolsonaro has flung criticism at Mr. Macron since last week, when the French leader put the Amazon fires on the Group of 7 agenda and called the situation a global crisis. Mr. Bolsonaro said Mr. Macron had a “colonialist mind-set,” while Mr. Macron accused the Brazilian leader of lying about his commitment to fighting climate change.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/27/world/americas/brazil-amazon-aid.html

 

 

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ENVIRONMENT: Panama's lungs moving to pasture

3E536C80-2701-47C6-BB53-C7A109A80D5A.jpeg

8.1 hectares of Darien jungle disappear every day.

Posted 26/08/2019

As Amazon forests burn or are taken over by mining corporations and farming interests the Darien jungle Panama’s own lung for world is also disappearing with 1,800 hectares of valuable forests already gone and the devastation continuing at a rate of 8.1 hectares per day.

The bad news is reported in the latest 2019 studies prepared by the new Department of Tele Detection created by the  Ministry of Environment (Miambiente) to calculate the rate of deforestation nationwide.

The department is responsible for permanently monitoring the country's forest cover through high-resolution satellite geo technology. According to the Minister of Environment, Milciades Concepción , these are “preliminary figures” of a study that is being developed by a specialized team.

Since taking possession on July 1, Concepción suspended for 100 timber extraction permits while an “audit” is carried out to know the impact of the logging activity and the guarantees that were given for logging during the last administration, not only in Darien, but also in East Panama.

Despite this measure, those involved in the logging activity seek different mechanisms to continue illegally harvesting wood from the region.

On August 11 authorities of MiAmbiente made a tour of the checkpoints in Jenené, in the Cañita sector; and Tortí, between Darién and eastern Panama. During the inspection, it was verified that three containers and two .trucks did not have the current transport guides; Administrative sanctions were applied. The guides are the document that indicates that the cutting is authorized by Miambiente 

. At that time, Víctor Cadavid, national director of Forestry of the entity, stressed that the operations will continue on a regular basis throughout the country, with the support of the members of the Ecological Police, particularly in the Darien and East Panama.

In the last five years 52  fines and forest sanctions processes have been applied for offenses from illegal logging to burning.

Stanley Heckadon , a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, between 1970 and 1980 was part of the group of experts who measured or established the limits of several ecological reserves in Darien like the Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve, in which about 17 rivers and streams are born.

However, according to Heckadon, loggers, land speculators and the advance of the agricultural frontier without any planning are damaging the areas biodiversity and heading for a timrreports La Prensa

“At that rate indicated by the figures of the Ministry of Environment, Darien will be a great pasture in the future. There will be nothing left, ”he said.

Another of the problems that concerns the scientist are the large forest fires caused by farmers and ranchers in the area and that many extend to the more than five protected areas that were established in Darien.

Between March and April this year several fires devastated about 1000 hectares of the Punta Patiño ecological reserve.

 Three years ago, Matusagaratí wildlife refuge wetlands lost 2,000 hectares of primary forest through arson.

Hermel López, of the Association of Professionals of Darién for Integral and Sustainable Development, indicated that it is "regrettable" what is happening in that province. “The impact is irreversible and rivers like the Chucunaque are decreasing their flow. Many are no longer navigable, have a lot of sediment and affect water intakes for the population's consumption, ”he said.

For López, after the Amazon in Brazil, and the Petén jungle in Guatemala, Darién has the most valuable forests in Latin America. "Without a doubt, Darien is our Amazon,"

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/environment-panamaampamp039s-lungs-moving-to-pasture-1

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Panama’s  uncontrolled logging mafia

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Posted 26/08/2019

What is happening in Darien is unsustainable. The indiscriminate felling and without real controls by the authorities will begin to collect their accounts in a shorter term than we imagine, having devastating effects not only for the biodiversity of that region, but for the whole country. It seems that the economic interests of those employers of the timber and agricultural industry - who see the green forests of this province as the ideal place to knead their fortune - have found a protective shield in the governments of the day and in the political class. The use of technology to exert better control over logging in Darien is a good start to stop this kind of mafia who seems little to care that the Ministry of Environment itself has ordered the suspension of extraction permits. The truth is that, if you do nothing, Our Darien stopper, as has begun to happen to the Amazon, will lose its biodiversity and with it the natural resources found in it. Neither climate change nor its effects are a conspiracy theory. They are as real as drylands due to lack of water, already extinct species and the millions of human beings who starve in the world.- LA PRENSA, Aug 26.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/panamas-uncontrolled-logging-mafia

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There are alternative views and clarifying data concerning these fires and related matters discussed here. Forbes is known as a business and finance news organ, and not a political rag. If anything it would be center right.

See https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/08/26/why-everything-they-say-about-the-amazon-including-that-its-the-lungs-of-the-world-is-wrong/#713d27145bde

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Moritorium on Darien logging permits

logging-a.jpg

Posted 03/09/2019

Environment Minister, Milciades Concepcion  has declared a one year moratorium, on logging  permits in Darien where  8.1 hectares  of valuable forest are lost every day, and a National Assembly committee installed to monitor the devastation.  

The committee is chaired by  independent deputy, Edison Broce, who said that there has always been talk of Darien but a team has never been created to assess the reality related to logging.

“We cut down our most valuable forests without mercy. Since 2012 we have logged, in Darién, the equivalent of 20,000  football fields  in this province and if we do not something, the damage will be irreversible, ”Broce argued.

In addition, the deputy said that there will be consultations, citations to officials and visits to Darien, in order to gather all possible information related to the issue and prepare a report to be submitted in a month.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/environment/moritorium-on-darien-logging-permits

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: Amazon burns, Panama improvises

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Posted 25/08/2019

The fire that occurs in the Amazon, lung of our planet - generates 20% of the earth's oxygen - is of apocalyptic proportions. This, in a world so polluted and environmentally fragile, is almost equivalent to cutting the fourth leg of a table. The tragedy is colossal from any angle that is seen. The emissions contributed by the massive combustion of organic material will make a long-term deposit in the global warming account. The president of Brazil, without providing a single test, blames NGOs for deliberately causing the fires, in revenge for the cut of funds decreed by his government. Bolsonaro's environmental policy has already caused several European countries to suspend cooperation to the Amazon Fund, and the president of France accuses his peer of lying about his environmental commitments. Maybe we should ask ourselves now, are we Panamanians learning something from all this? Our jungle of Darién, increasingly intervened, is not exempt from suffering damages of similar proportions. The way the crisis is managed in Brazil and the response of the international community must matter to us. If we are not prepared to face something like this, it is useful to know at least what it takes to do it. We must break the vicious circle of improvisation. - LA PRENSA, August 25

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/amazon-burns-panama-improvises

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