Put simply, the Amazon forest is necessary to stabilize the world’s climate. And the largest threat to the Amazon biome terrestrial ecosystems is deforestation. There are increasing concerns about the Amazon’s ability to influence climate, as deforestation and climate change contribute to changes in area rainfall and humidity. Fortunately, there is still time to lower the risk of widespread deforestation and degradation in the Amazon.
For example, a significant drop in deforestation rates in Brazil over the past few years has provided important lessons, which WWF is looking to apply, in collaboration with governments, to Andean Amazon countries where deforestation rates are climbing. LAI is focusing on connectivity and larger ecological processes across the biome, by using pilot trans-boundary areas to develop sub-national governmental commitments and to encourage future national commitments to conserve forest canopy necessary for healthy freshwater systems.
The Amazon is the largest remaining contiguous rainforest on the planet and spans through parts of eight countries and one overseas territory in South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, and French Guiana/France. Regardless of political boundary, the Amazon’s biological riches are intimately connected. So, to maintain its equilibrium the Amazon must function as a single ecological entity. It’s then critically important to monitor and address deforestation in each country that is part of the Amazon biome. Working together, Amazon countries could show the world the way to greenhouse gas emissions reduction and help realize a commitment to zero net deforestation.
WWF believes that there is an urgent need to increase cooperation among the Amazon biome countries and for these countries to exchange experiences and lessons learned in combating deforestation. Above all, there is a need to cooperate in ensuring that, throughout the biome, greater value is attributed to standing forests as a precious economic asset in itself.
Download our factsheet to learn more about this key LAI strategy.