Now Reading
Alarm over deforestation raised by fires in the Amazon region of Colombia

Alarm over deforestation raised by fires in the Amazon region of Colombia

Intense fires that have erupted in Colombia’s Amazon region this year point towards rising deforestation by people clearing land to ranch and other uses. Officials warned of the dangers of smoke pollution.

The burning is taking place in Colombia’s so called arc of deforestation, in Caqueta Meta, Meta, and Guaviare provinces. It creeps into national parks, and parts of Amazon rainforest. Conserving forests is essential for reducing climate change. Rodrigo Botero (director general of Foundation for Conservation and Sustainable Development) stated in an interview that the intensity of the fires was greater than what we have seen for many years. “This is a very alarming sign.”

Deforestation happens when land is cleared for cattle ranching or illegal mining, among other uses. In 2020, Colombia saw an increase in deforestation of 8% to 171,685 ha (424,243 acres). A Monday memo from the environment ministry stated that January was the month with the most fires in Colombia’s Amazon Biome. However, no data on the area of fires or the number of fires were available. February is Colombia’s peak season for burning.

According to Nicolas Galarza, Vice Minister of Environmental Regulation, hot spots can be fires but they could also indicate rising temperatures during the country’s dry seasons. Galarza stated that “Officially, we are worried.” “We want to verify because the increase in temperature is unusual, but, as I said, there’s no conclusive evidence that these heat spots are fires.

Guaviare’s Calamar municipality issued a red alert on Wednesday about possible fires. Carolina Urrutia (Bogota’s environment secretary) warned that smoke could impact the air quality in the capital. Amazon Conservation, an advocacy group has detected large-scale fires by using its own monitoring app.

See Also
landscape with sunrise

“What we are seeing is a large number of major fires, which implies that we’re seeing a lot of flames that are burning biomass,” Matt Finer, senior research specialist at Amazon Conservation and director of the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), explained to Reuters. Botero stated that these fires are a sign that a significant amount of forest has been cleared.

(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.