Target: President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff
Goal: Enforce policies restricting the destruction and demolition of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
Since the presidential election of Dilma Rousseff in October 2010, the Amazon rainforest has become more unprotected and vulnerable than it has been in decades. The frequency of clear-cutting and burning ground cover has increased due to the release of environmental enforcement to local officials and the removal of previously implemented government regulations protecting the land. The deforestation of the Amazon must be stopped before it’s too late.
The Amazon constitutes about half of the total rainforests on Earth. It is home to about 200,000 Amazon natives and an estimated 50 percent of the ten million species of plants, animals and insects on this planet. This massive ecosystem, covering 2.5 million square miles, is being deforested and industrialized at an alarming rate. There is still so much to discover in this forest, including many unknown tribes and unnamed species. The Amazon forest is known as the “Lungs of the Planet”, with its trees producing more than 20 percent of Earth’s oxygen and storing very large amounts of carbon dioxide. Just as humans can’t live without their lungs, neither can the Earth. Deforestation of the Amazon in particular will release this carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, greatly increasing the rate of global warming. However, greed and the distorted priorities of miners, farmers and the current government have thrown off the balance and continue to overlook these issues.
Rousseff believes further development of the Amazon will benefit Brazil economically and create a better life for her citizens. In January 2012, she issued an executive order designed to shrink 7 protected woodland reserves, enabling illegal loggers and miners to continue deforesting the area without any consequences. The order also allows for the construction of hydroelectric dams in parts of the Amazon where hundreds of villagers live. These people are not being given any details about the new construction project and are left wondering where they will be forced to move once the dam waters inundate their town.
The federal agency, known as Ibama, previously responsible for delivering fines and discouraging illegal activities within the Amazon, was pushed to the side after Rousseff signed a law giving local governments absolute authority over non-federal lands. These local officials do not have the resources necessary to efficiently protect the forests and can be bribed much more easily. Without strong laws and forestry management regulations, the Amazon, including the people and animals residing within its boundaries, will suffer greatly. The consequences are already starting to be seen, but there is still hope. Sign this petition and let Brazil’s government know that deforesting the Amazon may help the economy of the country for a few decades, but the long-term effects will be devastating to the entire world.
Dear President Rousseff,
The integrity of the Amazon forest is in jeopardy and more laws must be enacted to protect this massive ecosystem before it is too late. Deforestation of this beautiful and diverse rainforest has been brought about by the unregulated activities of miners and loggers as well as industrialization and additional infrastructure. While it is economically beneficial to create new roadways and dams, the environmental costs are much greater.
The Amazon rainforest provides more than 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen and stores incredibly large volumes of carbon dioxide in its trees. It is home to millions of species of plants, animals and insects, as well as thousands of native people living within the forest. The “Lungs of the Planet” can not handle being cut down and stripped of its precious resources. These practices are not sustainable. If they continue to be allowed, the entire planet will feel the effects in the near future. I urge you to please reconsider the ecological importance of the Amazon rainforest and look for more environmentally friendly ways to build up the economy of Brazil.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: tauntingpanda via Flickr