Well it’s been sketchy internet access while I’ve had my first crash course in the value of Mata Atlantica – the Atlantic Rainforests of Brazil. Where to begin – this is going to be an unfolding story of great importance over the coming days as I’m able to add references from the sources who have become my authorities on this matter.
In the US, all we hear about when we hear of Brazilian rainforests, is the Amazon. Without diminishing in the least the import of the area, we have not been told about the Atlantic rainforest, of which only 7% remains. However, within this 7% is said to be even greater diversity than found in the Amazon due to the climatic differences.
Here slash and burn is the greatest threat, as I’ve heard a rumor that there are more cattle than Brazilians on the land. People are living for bare subsistence and must be shown the value of their land WITH trees (reforestation can take place in a relatively short period of time) and given sources of income for keeping the trees intact, while sustainably harvesting an abundance of small crops.
One of my sources of information, Antoni Karras – guardian of a magnificent waterfall and ecologist in the state of Rio de Janeiro, has shared with my some grizzly news from a report presented to the University of Wisconsin, which stated that the Amazon is already in massive danger due to climate change melting the snow capped mountain that feeds the Amazon River itself, and the dense dark matter of the equatorial forest. So while every effort to preserve this forest is valued, it may be of greater importance in the bigger picture to REforest the Mata Atlantica and other previously forested areas of Brazil to replace the loss of Amazon over time.