Amazon Rainforest is at 'tipping point' warns climate scientist

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Indigenous leaders have warned that the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest stretching across parts of Brazil, Columbia, Peru and other South American countries, has been “irreversibly destroyed”. The huge forest, which is packed with 511 indigenous groups and is renowned for its biodiversity and wealth of rivers, is now reportedly at a “tipping point”.

It comes after mass deforestation has ravaged large swathes of the forest, threatening the beginning of a “metastasis or the irreversible destruction of the ecosystem.”

Venezuelan Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, the head of the Coordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin (Coica), which represents 3.5 million indigenous people living in the region, said: “For us, to announce that the Amazon is 26 percent contaminated and destroyed is very alarming.

Mr Diaz Mirabal said added: “This is a red alert telling us that if we don’t do something now, we won’t reach the 2030 development goals or those of the major agreements reached at the Glasgow COP.”

The comments came at the 5th Amazon Summit of Indigenous Peoples, where leaders and investigators from nine countries presented a report warning that 74 percent of the Amazon needs urgent protection.

Wakuenai chief Kurripaco said: “Governments said they would save the Amazon, but these figures show that they are not keeping their promises. The temperature will rise by two degrees if deforestation continues at this rate.”

Marciely Tupari, from the Coordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon, said: “The Amazon is suffering because we are being invaded by logging, oil companies and those who attack our territories. We want to call for help.”

Mr Diaz Mirabal said there are 511 indigenous peoples who speak 500 different languages live in this region.

But the leaders and investigators warned at the summit about the staggering rate of Amazon leaders and defenders in the region, which has reached over 280 across the nine countries the rainforest covers.

However, Brazil is not the only country causing harm to the huge rainforest, as according to the report, Bolivia and Brazil together account for 90 percent of the deforestation and degradation in the region.

This is despite the Brazilian President pledging at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2028.

But Maria Laura Canineu, Brazil director at Human Rights Watch, has warned: “The Bolsonaro government now wants the world to think it is committed to saving the rainforest.

However, Brazil is not the only country causing harm to the huge rainforest, as according to the report, Bolivia and Brazil together account for 90 percent of the deforestation and degradation in the region.

This is despite the Brazilian President pledging at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2028.

But Maria Laura Canineu, Brazil director at Human Rights Watch, has warned: “The Bolsonaro government now wants the world to think it is committed to saving the rainforest.

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“But these commitments cannot be taken seriously given its disastrous record and failure to present credible plans for making urgently needed progress in fighting deforestation.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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