By: Juan Felipe Riaño Landazabal, Master Student Universidad Javeriana
In 2019, daunting photos of a fire-consumed Amazon made the frontpage on the world’s top newspapers. The fires triggered global concerns about the deforestation rates of the Amazon rainforest, especially under Brazil’s far-right president Bolsonaro, who has publicly stated that the country’s protected areas are an obstacle to economic growth and need to be opened up for commercial exploitation. While the fires drew all eyes to Brazil, they also raised concerns about the overall state of the world’s rainforest. Unsurprisingly, these concerns unveiled a far more disturbing reality: Despite a growing number of zero-deforestation commitments by State and non-State actors, primary rainforest loss hit record highs in 2016 and 2017 and remained above the historical level in 2018.