Knowledge for better food systems

How to avoid detonating the Amazon carbon bomb

This policy brief from the US non-profit think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics argues that the Amazon rainforest could reach a “tipping point” as soon as 2021, where deforestation means that the forest no longer generates enough rain to support itself and the forest begins to release large amounts of carbon instead of storing it.

To avoid this tipping point, the brief argues, the international community should expand the Amazon Fund in order to make payments for ecosystems services, e.g. by more countries, including the United States, becoming donors to the fund. The brief argues that reforestation can support job creation in Brazil.

Read the full report The Amazon Is a Carbon Bomb: How Can Brazil and the World Work Together to Avoid Setting It Off? here. See also the Foodsource building block What is land use and land use change?

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean occupies the central and southern portion of the Americas. The region is home to the world’s largest river (the Amazon River), the largest rainforest (the Amazon Rainforest), and the longest mountain range (the Andes). Export-oriented agriculture constitutes an important part of the economy, especially in Brazil and Argentina. This large continent has a range of climates spanning the ice of Patagonia, the tropical forests of much of the continent, and more temperate regions in, for example, Mexico and Chile. Due to the greatly differing geography and economic development in the continent, all types of agriculture can be found in Latin America. Subsistence farming and cash cropping with coffee, cocoa and so on are common in many nations including most of central America, whereas large-scale beef production in the cerrado of Brazil provides an example of hyper-large farms run by large businesses.

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