Andy Lester, A Rocha UK’s Head of Conservation, looks at what nature needs in the uncertainty ahead..
We may, or may not, leave the EU by 31 October, with a deal – or without a deal. It would seem that election time may soon be upon us again; though possibly not. With any election right now will come a series of deeply challenging decisions for each of us on who and what to vote for. Top of the pile for many of us will be what the main parties are contemplating around the environment – and how that might be affected by a no deal Brexit or Brexit with a deal or even, still, remaining.
Were we to combine a no deal departure from the European Union on the fast approaching 31 October deadline alongside a general election then all bets are off when it comes to issues of sustainability and conservation. Following quickly from a no-deal result, the new government (should it manage to even get a parliamentary majority) will be faced with fighting for competitive bi-lateral agreements. One of the likely first victims will be the natural environment. Other countries ... Read more...
Few of us will have escaped the media scenes of fiery devastation in the Amazon over the past few weeks. It is a man-made disaster with global effects – and causes.
Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, wants to open up the Amazon for ‘development’. He is doing so by gutting the key Brazilian environmental protection agencies and rendering them powerless to enforce laws which had been successful in dramatically reducing Amazon deforestation over the last decade. He has also accused Brazil’s environmentalists and indigenous organisations of holding the country’s prosperity back.
In this newly permissive political context, big logging and ranching interests feel free to saw away at the remaining rainforest at a ferocious rate, invade indigenous people’s territories and even massacre unarmed villagers, with near total impunity. So far this year, more than 80,000 forest fires have been recorded in Brazil, half in the Amazon, far more than the total for all 2018, and the burning season has another two months to go. Several environmentalists and indigenous leaders have been assassinated.
Not only is this forest destruction terrible for Brazilian people and wildlife, but it will accelerate global heating through a ... Read more...