Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mixed news about the Amazon Rainforest

We have both good and bad news about the Amazon Rainforest this week.

Let's start with the good news: The World Bank approved last Thursday
$1.3 billion loan to help Brazil's environmental management and climate change efforts, with a focus on fighting deterioration of the Amazon rain forest and renewable energy sources.

The World Bank told Reuters that "the loan will support Brazil's ongoing efforts to improve its environmental management system and integrate sustainability concerns in the development agenda of key sectors such as forest management, water and renewable energy."

The loan is going to be disbursed in two parts: a first tranche of $800 million that will be provided immediately and a second tranche of $500 million upon fulfillment of the projects goals.

This loan is provided despite appeals of several Brazilian organizations and social networks to the World Bank to postpone the decision on the loan. Their argue was that prior loans have not adequately addressed environmental concerns and that this loan has the potential to continue this trend.

Well, I hope these groups are wrong, but at the same time I wish their concerns will be taken seriously as it seems the money is needed to be allocated in the best way possible given the other news about the implications of drought on the Amazon rain forest.

On the same day (last Thursday)
a new study was published in the journal Science. This 30-year study, a global collaboration between more than 40 institutions, has found that the Amazon rain forest is surprisingly sensitive to drought and even a moderate drought can cause it to release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. You can read further details about this study about it on the Science Daily's report.

We'll keep following and reporting on the status of the Amazon Rainforest, hoping to have more and more good news and less and less bad news.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

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