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Argenpress 26 octubre 2010

Científicos descubren más de 1.200 nuevas especies de flora y fauna en Amazonas en última década (Informe Amazon Alive!)

Informe presentado en Nagoya - Conferencia de la ONU sobre Diversidad Biológica

Científicos hallaron más de 1.200 nuevas especies de flora y fauna en la cuenca del río Amazonas entre los años 1999 y 2009, según un informe de WWF Internacional [1], presentado en la Conferencia de la ONU sobre Diversidad Biológica en Nagoya (Japón) [2]. “Este informe es una clara muestra de la gran biodiversidad en la región amazónica”, cita el informe las palabras del encargado del proyecto LIVING AMAZON INITIATIVE, Francisco Ruiz.

Científicos descubren más de 1.200 nuevas especies de flora y fauna en Amazonas en última década (Informe Amazon Alive!)

Según Ruiz, el análisis recuerda además a la humanidad sobre la necesidad de conocer más de cerca esa región única y su situación actual.

El informe AMAZON ALIVE!: A DECADE OF DISCOVERY 1999-2009, de 60 páginas, contiene información sobre un total de 637 plantas, 257 especies de peces, 216 anfibios, 55 reptiles, 16 aves y 39 mamíferos.

Entre sus hallazgos, los expertos destacan el descubrimiento de nueva especie de anaconda (eunectes beniensis), la ranitomeya amazónica, una rana con cabeza de llamativos colores y un papagayo de cabeza pelada (pyrilia aurantiocephala).

El informe denuncia la tala de un 17% de los bosques tropicales del Amazonas en los últimos 50 años, un territorio mayor que el de Venezuela.

Los expertos recuerdan que esos bosques no sólo constituyen un hogar para un gran número de especies, sino también contienen 90.000-140.000 millones de toneladas de carbono, mientras su salida podría acelerar el cambio climático.

La Conferencia de la ONU sobre Diversidad Biológica en Nagoya se celebra del 18 al 29 de octubre con participación de representantes de 193 países.


(NBC) The Amazon’s amazing species: The World Wildlife Fund is highlighting the more than 1,200 species that have been discovered in the Amazon region over the past decade, in hopes of gaining support for protecting such species over the decades to come.

(CNN) New species of plants and animals found in the Amazon rainforest. CNN’s Jenny Harrison explains.

The Nature of Business - Transforming the market for palm oil

Forest conversion: Impact of agriculture and plantations [3]

- "Hamburger Connection Fuels Amazon Destruction. Cattle ranching and deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon", Center for International Forestry Research

- "China’s global push for resources makes waves in Amazon basin", Larry Rohter, The New York Times, 20-11-2005

- Relacionado: El Amazonas se nos muere

(27 de octubre de 2010)


[1- WWF:

*Amazing Discoveries in the Amazon: New Species Found Every 3 Days Over Last Decade, 26-10-2010

*WWF’s Living Amazon Initiative: a comprehensive approach to conserving the largest rainforest and river system On Earth, 26-10-2010

*Living Amazon Initiative

*For a Living Amazon!

*Can the Amazon survive? (page 8)

*Problems in the Amazon


*Latest News and Publications

*What WWF is doing: an integrated approach.

[3Forests conversion involves removing natural forests to meet other land needs, such as plantations (e.g. pulp wood, oil palm and coffee among others), agriculture, pasture for cattle (e.g. around the Amazon region), settlements and mining. This process is usually irreversible. Why is this happening and how serious is the problem?

It’s morning. We hurry with our shower, some of us take extra time applying make-up, while others indulge in a breakfast of cereal, toast and coffee.

A normal start to a normal day, you say. So why is it that by the time we walk out of our house, we have unknowingly contributed to deforestation in Brazil, the extinction of orangutans in Sumatra and soil erosion in Paraguay? What is the link with forest conversion?

What’s happening?

We all know that plantations and agriculture farming, including livestock production, sustain humankind.

But conversion of forests –from South America’s tropical forests to Russia’s temperate forests– to meet worldwide demand for palm oil, paper, coffee and other goods is leading to deforestation and a range of ecological and social impacts.

As a result, agriculture is widely believed to be one of the main causes of deforestation. Around the world, as you read these words, forests are giving way to plantations for oil palm, soy, rubber, coffee, tea, and rice among many other crops.

Of increasing concern is the soaring popularity of biofuels. Biofuels are generated from oils extracted from plants such as oil palm - which are often grown on land cleared of natural forests.

The link between forest conversion and you

The shampoo you use in the shower.

An ice-cream on the beach.

Two-hundred copies of your annual report.

All these things often come with more than a price tag: palm oil used in the shower gel and ice cream, and tree monocultures for paper pulp. But boycotting these products is not the solution –after all, we couldn’t really do without them. What we can focus on instead is asking companies to ensure that forest conversion is not destroying High Conservation Value Forests, where endangered species such as the orangutan and elephant live.

What is causing forest conversion?

· Rising demand for soy, palm oil, cocoa and coffee is translating into expanding plantations for these crops worldwide. Versatile products like soy and palm oil are found in anything from animal feed to bread, and from lipstick to burgers - hence their popularity. This human ’footprint’ on the Earth shows how our behavior in one part of the world can have negative impact on tropical forests and the people living in other part of world.

· Cheap land, labour, and government subsidies are creating more and more supply of agricultural goods, and to meet needs for increased production, plantations are constantly expanding.
It is not clear how much producer countries benefit economically because increasing production often drives down commodity prices, creating cycles of ‘boom and bust’.2

· Poorly implemented environmental regulations are added incentives for some landowners and producers to convert forests for plantations inside protected areas, intimidate local people so that they are driven off their land, and set fires to clear land with little fear for interference by authorities.

· Global trade arrangements and trade barriers, such as the EU trade barriers for meat compared to 0% tariffs for soy beans.3

How is WWF dealing with the problems caused by conversion of natural forests to agriculture and plantations?


1 FAO. 2007. State of the World’s Forests.

2 Carey C., Oettli D. 2006. Determining links between agricultural crop expansion and deforestation. A report prepared for the WWF Forest Conversion Initiative. 71 pp.

3,a Dros, J.M. 2004. Managing the soy boom: Two scenarios of soy production expansion in South America. AIDEnvironment, Amsterdam, June 2004. 65 pp.

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