Logging leaves deep scars in an Amazon buckling under wildfires

Jeck Deocampo   •   August 29, 2019   •   729

The sound of a chainsaw rings out in Brazil’s Amazon, as the world’s largest rainforest buckles under a record number of wildfires.

As the world recoils at the sight of fires ravaging Brazil’s Amazon jungle,  logging was heard in the Amazon’s Altamira Region on Wednesday (August 28).

According to information from Brazil, illegal logging, farming and mining has despoiled nearly 12,000 square kilometres (4,633 square miles) in the Amazon this year alone. The scars of felled trees were captured by Reuters on a drone.

Critics say Bolsonaro’s call for the Amazon to be opened up to more farming and logging has fueled deliberate fires.

Forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon, which accounts for more than half of the world’s largest rainforest, have surged in number by 83% this year, according to government data, destroying vast swathes of a vital bulwark against global climate change. (REUTERS)

No Filipinos affected so far by US forest fires — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday (September 14) confirmed that no Filipinos have so far been reported affected by the recent forest fire incidents across the West Coast in the United States.

The DFA wishes to refer the public to the advisories released by Philippine foreign service posts with jurisdiction over affected areas for up-to-date information and necessary assistance.

Specifically, these offices are the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles and the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.

Local authorities are still struggling to control the raging wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington State and other areas in the West Coast.

The situation is made worse by varying wind directions and very low humidity. 

The raging wildfires across California, Oregon and Washington have already charred millions of acres of land and killed more than 30 people so far.

Authorities fear the death toll will increase as dozens more remain unaccounted for.

Climate emergency remains as urgent as ever amid COVID-19 pandemic—Cimatu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2020

Climate change still remains as urgent as ever amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu.

“It is like the COVID-19 emergency, just in slow motion and much graver,” Cimatu said on Wednesday (July 22).

The DENR also said climate change have a multiplier effect which would lead to other problems, from ecosystem stability to food production and human conflict.

“Deforestation disrupts weather patterns and the water cycle, contributes to climate change, and destroys the habitats of important species. Chemicals and waste are polluting the air, soil and water, killing millions each year,” the department said in a statement.

Cimatu said major environmental protection programs like solid waste management, reforestation and biodiversity conservation, must be consistent with the overall response to COVID-19, future pandemics and climate crisis.

“The government—through the Cabinet Cluster on CCAM-DRR—will prioritize actions and investments that will reduce long-term health impacts and increase our resilience and adaptive capacity to both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change,” he said.

Locusts swarm across parts of India, attacking agricultural lands

UNTV News   •   May 26, 2020

Huge swarms of locusts took over the skies of Northern and Central India on Monday (May 25) and Sunday (May 24), affecting agricultural lands.

The pests were mostly seen across large states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

On Sunday, actions were taken in the city of Mandsaur, in central India, to contain the swarm by spraying pesticides.

One of the deadliest pests for farms produce, locusts are known to destroy crops and vegetables, and whatever they find in their way, in search of food.

Animals also get affected by eating the same leaves as the locusts and can suffer from diarrhoea.

Locust swarms are not new in East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. But climate scientists say erratic weather linked to climate change has created ideal conditions for the insects to surge in numbers not seen in a quarter of a century.

If allowed to breed unchecked in favourable conditions, locusts can form huge swarms that can strip trees and crops over vast areas. (Reuters)

(Production: ANI, Hanna Rantala, Gabriela Boccaccio)

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