43 years ago, my parents owned
a public swimming pool. In the summer season, there was a lifeguard that
I remember fondly. He was a handsome, kind and idealistic young man, always
with a pipe in the corner of his mouth. He studied to be a priest and
wanted to visit the Amazon someday. He could talk about it passionately
for hours. He was fond of saying that the Amazon region was “an adventure,
an immense place, nearly twice as big as Europe.” He warned: “These regions
are the lungs of our world, along with other tropical rain forests.”
Our whole family was present at his ordination, but after that we
lost contact with him. It later turned out that he had fallen in love
with my mother, a love that was unrequited. My mother was a particularly
beautiful and strong woman, mother of six young children, and she had
to tell him that he should finish his studies, and that there could be
no future between them. Discouraged and severely depressed, he left for
the Amazon as originally intended.
Why do I, after 43 years, suddenly remember this man? Because the
Amazon shifted back into view when I learned that the region is again
under threat. Recently and through deforestation, an area twice as large
as Germany has disappeared. Together with the Congo basin and Indonesia,
these tropical rain forests provide our oxygen. Without these primeval
forests (some have existed for more than 100 million years) there can
be no life.
Animal husbandry, soy cultivation, wood cultivation, palm oil, mining
and forested areas that are set on fire are the main causes of deforestation.
And of course the economic factor, the urge for more profit.
Rainforests are invaluable to our survival
The three largest tropical forests in the world are the aforementioned
Amazon, the jungles of Indonesia and the Congo Basin. They are threatened
by the demand from large multinationals for raw materials such as wood,
palm oil and soya, but also for cheap meat. Weak governance, poor compliance
with laws and corruption in all three regions ad to the problem. The interests
of the local population are often subordinated to those of multinationals.
A large part of mainly tropical deforestation is illegal, and accompanied
by crime, corruption and violence. Tropical deforestation is responsible
for one fifth of CO2 emissions, more than all air-, road- and water traffic
combined. Why? Because forests produce oxygen and extract CO2 from the
air, a gas that contributes to global warming. A rainforest that annually
shrinks by 5,000 km2 means that more than a football field disappears
Moreover, tropical rain forests are an invaluable source of numerous
medicines. All of these mean that the disappearance of tropical forest
constitutes a direct threat to mankind. We must take drastic measures
to prevent a catastrophic warming of the earth.
Changes in Forest Cover
Environmental crime is on the rise
Worldwide figures (relative): November 2016
* Environmental crime rises every year by 5 to 7 percent - about
two to three times more than the growth of the world economy.
* The illegal trade in wild animals is estimated at 6 to 19 billion
euros per year.
* Crime in forestry accounts for around 43 to 127 billion euros
* Illegal fishing comes to around 9 to 20 billion euros per year.
* Illegal mines comes to around 10 to 40 billion euros per year.
The Amazon region
The Amazon rainforest is of paramount importance for biodiversity.
It is by far the largest rainforest on earth. The Amazon basin covers
more than 6.8 million km2 and is almost twice as big as the second largest
river basin and rainforest, that of the Congo. The Amazon forest represents
40% of the remaining rainforest on earth and is considered the most biodiverse
region on earth. 10 square kilometers of Amazon forest contains more animal
and plant species than the whole of Europe.
The current large-scale extinction of species of plants and animals
occurs at an unprecedented rate, and faster than the last large-scale
extinction 65 million years ago, when many, especially larger terrestrial
animals (like the dinosaurs) became extinct. The clock is ticking, not
only because many animal and plant species are disappearing each year,
but also because we are already dealing with the consequences of climate
Deforestation in the Amazon is relatively recent. In 1970, only
two percent of the Amazon had been deforested. The part of the Amazon
that has been deforested today is usually estimated at 19%. This amounts
to about 762,979 km2, an area twice as large as Germany or Japan.
A new report from the WWF shows that new animal species are found
every two days. In 2 years’ time no fewer than 381 new animal and plant
species were discovered. These involved 216 plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians,
20 mammals (including 2 fossils), 19 reptiles and 1 bird (Nystalus obamai,
named after Obama). https://www.wnf.nl/nieuws/bericht/elke-2-dagen-een-nieuwe-soort-ontdekt-in-de-amazone.htm
Obama-bird: Nystalus obamai
foto Fabio Schunck
According to Tim Boekhout van Solinge, an independent criminological
researcher and consultant, Brazil wants us to believe that things are
now better controlled and protected, but reality turns out to be quite
a different picture altogether. Lack of enforcement, monitoring, control
and the enormous corruption in certain areas, particularly in Mato Grosso
and Pará, plus the death threats from large landowners and the timber
trade, all make it particularly difficult. In practice, big money not
the government pulls the strings. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311820828_Ontbossing_en_criminaliteit_in_de_Braziliaanse_Amazone
Moreover, after the recent political power struggle and the huge
recession, things are not looking up. The new government of President
Temer and the Brazilian political class are up to their necks in the biggest
corruption case of all time, with the presidency purportedly directly
involved. Many politicians consider agriculture and mining more important
than flora, fauna and indigenous peoples. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/05/18/hooggerechtshof-onderzoekt-temer-om-corruptie-9324325-a1559504
Strangers in the forest: First contact in the Amazon
In the Congo basin it is mainly industrial logging that threatens
the forests. The many conflicts that have plagued the country, plus weak
governance such as by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where
corruption and violation of human rights are commonplace, also cause destabilization,
as well as great anxiety. Guerrilla or terrorist groups are financed through
the illegal sale of ivory and rare animals.
Endangered species such as forest elephants, chimpanzees, bonobos,
lowland- and mountain gorillas live in these lush forests. The Congo basin
has an abundance of raw materials such as wood, diamond, petroleum and
Free download Pixabay: Endangered species like the Berggorilla
Indonesia has already lost 72 percent of its intact forests. Animals,
such as Sumatran tigers and orangutans, plants and also the millions of
people who depend on the Indonesian forests, are under great threat. By
far the most important cause of deforestation is the installation of plantations
for palm oil and wood.
The forests in Indonesia disappear faster than anywhere else in
The decline of the rainforest on Borneo since 1950
"We are threatened, vilified and murdered because
we stand up against the mining companies on our land and against the paramilitaries
who protect them ... My father, grandfather and teacher were just three
of the countless victims. We know the killers they go unpunished and
are still acting members of our community. We die and our government does
nothing to help us." Michelle Campos
Free download Pixabay. Sumatrans tigers
It is the international desire for wood, paper, soy and palm oil
that fuels deforestation. Economic interests play too big a role. Moreover,
the growing world population and an increasing demand for meat also play
a major role, as does the growing demand for consumer goods.
The cheapest and most obvious way to save the world from a climate
crisis is to stop deforestation. As long as we, consumers, desire cheap
wood, palm oil, soya and meat, it will continue.
The future is still open
If all of this information is depressing you, it should! But that
doesn’t mean all is lost. Remember the poor lifeguard who was dejected
by my mother, who became a priest and left for the Amazon? Well, as it
turned out, all wasn’t lost for him either. Eventually, my brother caught
up with him. The man had returned safely from the Amazon. Despite leaving
the priesthood, he had ultimately found love. The experience, he said,
had brought him wisdom and happiness.
It is not too late for us to gain wisdom. But we have to act now!
The EU, America, Asia, Russia, and especially China, should enforce,
control, find alternatives and offer solutions much more strictly, even
if that costs money.
There are good organizations out there that deserve our support;
Greenpeace International, WWF, REDD, FSC, Congo Basin Forest Fund, Environmental
Protection and other active organizations. Help them, sign petitions,
try to consume less. This way, we can still change the future for the
Lanaria Amberkira 31-12-2017
Many thanks to: Greenpeace, WWF, Milieudefensie, NRC, Global Witness,
Nu.nl, Survival International, Hivos, Mondiaal Nieuws, BBC, Google and
Video peace message: https://youtu.be/jh142luEszg
Note: Feel free to donate and support White Rose Evolution financially.
Bankaccount, specially for W.R.E. : Name Lanaria Amberkira, Sluis, The
I'm Peter van Els, born in 1957, living in the Netherlands. Autodidact.
Life is my greatest teacher and i started writing end 2015, to stand up
against lawless and corrupt governments and the real power, the shadow
government, the world elite. "Enough is enough" . I said to myself, and
besides, I think it's a moral obligation towards our earth and our posterity.
I believe that all the good souls should be connect and unite in love,
so we can change the system for the benefit of our planet and our posterity.
For Worldpeace and Prosperity for all. Telefoon: 0031633819185