Amazon loses football pitch of trees each minute

Green land: There are around 390 billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.

Can we stop Brazil cutting down trees in the Amazon rainforest? Satellite images show that an area the size of a football pitch is lost every minute. It is replaced with farmland for cows.

What’s happening

On 1 January this year, a new president came to power in Brazil. His name is Jair Bolsonaro. He promised to exploit the Amazon rainforest to make Brazil richer.

Seven months on, the forest is losing trees at an alarming rate.

Find out more

Satellite images show that an area of trees the size of a football pitch is lost every minute in the Amazon.

This matters because trees are one of the best ways to fight the climate crisis. Trees breathe in carbon dioxide. This stops the gas from heating up the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world. It is home to one-tenth of the world’s animal and plant species.

It is also home to one million indigenous people.

Can we stop Brazil from cutting down the rainforest?

Some say…

There is nothing we can do. The people of Brazil voted for President Bolsonaro. If he wants to make room for more farmland, there is nothing the rest of the world can do to stop it.

Others think…

Deforestation must be stopped. The consequences of chopping down the Amazon will be felt by everyone, not just Brazil. It is a global issue, so it should have a global response.

You Decide

  1. Should a country be allowed to do whatever it wants with its environment?

Activities

  1. Find out more about one of the animals that lives in the Amazon rainforest. Create a poster which includes some facts about that animal.

Some People Say...

“He that plants trees loves others besides himself.”

Thomas Fuller, English churchman and historian (1608-1661)

What do you think?

Word Watch

Brazil
A large country in South America.
Exploit
To make full use of, sometimes at some cost. In this case, to the environment.
Climate crisis
Changes to the Earth’s weather and temperature.
Carbon dioxide
A greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth.
Atmosphere
The gases which make up the air around a planet.
Indigenous
Native; naturally existing in a place.
Deforestation
The process of cutting down trees in a forest and not replacing them.
Consequences
Effects.

Subjects

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