Brazil’s rainforests are approaching the point of no return

(ORDO NEWS) — The Pinto Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of a strip of forest on the Atlantic coast of Brazil.

The forest itself is home to over 145 million Brazilians, and just as the Amazon rainforest has been ravaged by deforestation over the past few years, about three-quarters have already been destroyed by urban and infrastructure development and aggressive agribusiness practices.

“We need to plant and replant, but we can’t lose an acre,” Pinto said, showing CNN a nursery with more than 50 species of carefully cultivated trees and plants on what was once a degraded, drought-prone grassland.

“The forest we replant will not be the same as the forest we cut down. Some of the forests we are losing have trees that are hundreds of years old.”

These are the sprouts of the rebirth of the forest. In just 15 years, it has grown into a thriving ecolab with healthy water tables, trees, plants and animals.

It’s a very different landscape from the pastures on its borders, where drought-stricken grass covers acres of what used to be forest.

With President-elect Lula da Silva in office, projects like this are now at the crossroads of the climate and political history of Brazil, a country that is home to one of the most significant biodiversity reserves on the planet.

For nearly four years, the government of President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of undoing the environmental progress of Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010.

Data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research shows that the rate of deforestation under Bolsonaro’s presidency has increased by more than 70% from 2018 to 2021.

The Amazon rainforest is already emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs in some places – a shift that could have a huge negative impact on global warming trends.

And scientists are warning that the precious rainforest is nearing the point of irreversible decline and is less able to recover from shocks such as drought, logging and wildfires.

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