What are we losing by burning our forests?

What are we losing by burning our forests?

Published On: 31 de August de 2020

The Atlantic Forest is one of the most threatened biomes in the world, the current coverage represents 12.4% of its original extension, but only 8.5% is in a good state of conservation according to information from SOS Mata Atlântica. Most of this biome has already been suppressed. Even when we have so many initiatives for the recovery of this biome, any threat puts its wealth at risk.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the Atlantic Forest is part of the ecosystems with the highest diversity estimates, since this biome contains 44.17 % of Brazilian birds (850 species); 37.5% from mammals (270 species); 36,13% from amphibians (370 species); 26,28% from reptiles (200 species) and 7,71% from fish (350 species). This wealth of fauna and its interactions make us humans have ecosystem services such as clean air, quality water, food production, among others. Therefore, the conservation of the Atlantic Forest is crucial for the maintenance of biodiversity throughout Brazil and for all of us Brazilians (Ministry of the Environment, 2010).

But what are we missing when the Atlantic Forest burns?

According to the Queimadas Program of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the month of June had an increase of 12,18% in fires in Brazil, double compared to last year in the same season. Legal and illegal fires are recorded in all biomes, according to satellite images used by INPE.

Here, in our region, the situation of the Atlantic Forest is also critical. There are only 12% of native forests left and the drought period we are experiencing makes this situation even worse.

In Socorro, Municipal Law 3825/2014 is in operation and when the intention of the act is proven, fines are applied. The purpose of the law is to prevent fires, protecting areas, whether forested or not, from the fires that have occurred too often.

In this scenario of environmental pressure, Associação Ambientalista Copaíba calls society, in general, to avoid fires (both caused and accidental) both in areas close to forest fragments and in urban areas of our region. In this dry weather and the presence of strong winds, careless practices can end in large fires. Avoid throwing cigarette butts on the floor; do not release balloons, considered an environmental crime in Brazil, and do not make fires near the vegetation areas.

And knowing that 90% of the outbreaks start with human practices, Copaíba makes a special call to the community so that in case of witnessing a fire or burning, immediately notify the fire department through the number 193 or the civil defense on the phone 199.

Remember that when the Atlantic Forest is on fire, the environmental services that we humans need to live are also on fire.


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