An unprecedented survey carried out by the Simex network, which is formed by the environmental organizations Imazon, Idesam, Imaflora and ICV, released this Sunday (5), when Amazon Day is celebrated, points out that the area of extraction of Amazon wood is the equivalent of three cities in São Paulo. In one year, the forest lost 4.64,000 km² of wood, more than half in Mato Grosso alone.
The network monitored it through satellite images between August 2019 and July 2020. Researchers observed the logging in the Amazon and they also sought information about the legality of this extraction, but were unable to access the data in 7 of the 9 states that make up the Legal Amazon.
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The survey involved seven of the nine states in the Legal Amazon: Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima, which concentrate almost 100% of wood production. Only Mato Grosso and Pará have open data on the areas where it is possible to legally harvest wood.
In the study, the researchers highlight that at least 11% of the extractions took place in protected areas, where extraction is prohibited: 6% in environmental conversation units and 5% in indigenous lands.
Parna dos Campos Amazônicos (AM) was the fully protected conservation unit, where exploration is prohibited, which had the largest mapped area, with 9,000 hectares. The indigenous territories with the largest exploited areas were Tenharim Marmelos (AM), with 6,000 hectares, Batelão (MT), with 5,000 hectares, and Aripuanã (MT), with 3,000 hectares.
The researchers note that logging can lead to forest degradation, which is an environmental damage different from deforestation. During degradation, the forest is continually impoverished by disturbances, as in the case of logging without management plans.
Forest impoverishment occurs with the reduction of forest biomass, biodiversity and commercial wood stocks.
Deforestation, on the other hand, is when the so-called “clear cut” occurs, the complete removal of vegetation, which can be done with the objective of converting the area into pasture, farming or mining, for example.