Brazil champion of biodiversity protection

We would like to thank the reader who pointed out the error in our piece on Alysson Paulinelli: we said that Brazil is 22 times the size of Denmark, whereas in fact it is 22 times as big as Norway, as the image correctly showed. Indeed the difference in size between Brazil and Denmark is much greater: Brazil is 197 times bigger!

The article also attracted the attention of a number of readers who had never heard of Paulinelli and therefore knew nothing of his professional and personal qualities.

We also learned that the savannas (Cerrado) in Brazil are in the hands of agroindustry which transforms them into areas for exploitation, with high use of chemicals and of mechanized farming methods. We were interested to learn this and invite our readers to read this article on the subject:

“Can ‘Slow Food’ save Brazil’s fast-vanishing Cerrado savanna?”

The article points out the unsustainability of farming in the Cerrado and the fight for the particular character of these areas to be recognised so they can be farmed while maintaining their biodiversity and protecting their profitability for small local farmers.

“Unfortunately, that’s still no substitute for outright land protection. In 2019, the National Campaign in Defense of the Cerrado handed government officials a petition with 570,000 signatures supporting a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the Cerrado as a national heritage site. That bill was first introduced in 2010 and has been heavily debated since.”

One characteristic of our multimedia society is the manipulation of means of communication to direct and alter perception and understanding. Thus it was that the French President, while in the midst of the ‘gilets jaunes’ crisis, drew attention to deforestation in Amazonia … And yet official data supplied by research insitutes indicate very different situations. For example, UNEP’s 2016 report on protected areas states:

“The most extensive coverage achieved at a regional level is for Latin America and the Caribbean, where 4.85 million km2 (24%) of land is protected. Half (2.47 million km2) of the entire region’s protected land is in Brazil, making it the largest national terrestrial protected area network in the world.”

https://wdpa.s3.amazonaws.com/Protected_Planet_Reports/2445%20Global%20Protected%20Planet%202016_WEB.pdf ,

While people like Paulinelli and the thousands of Brazilian researchers he helped create can be regarded as an example of what humans can do when they respect Nature’s limits, we certainly can’t deny that the current president of Brazil is doing everything, absolutely everything he can to discredit his country in the eyes of the world.

This is why we ask all our readers to be careful not to be distracted by false “enemies”. The world’s media gives the impression that it is farmers, including those of the Cerrado, who are responsible for environmental degradation and thus most responsible for deforestation, and especially the poorest farmers, those who resort to the use of burning to fertilise their land. And yet data from the Brazilian Research Institute – Embrapa (founded, you will recall, by Paulinelli himself) – show exactly the opposite: it is Brazilian farmers who are the biggest defenders of protected natural areas and of biodiversity. They are the ones who take on this burden without any moral or economic reward, while at the same time being denigrated as the only “bad people” who are destroying the environment. All of this emerges from the data and analyses produced by the Brazilian researchers. We therefore invite readers to read the article Agricultura lidera a preservação ambiental (Farming leads the way in environmental protection) by the current Director General of Embrapa Territorial, which gives through numbers and images (freely accessible) the most up to date picture of the situation of small rural producers in Brazil.