Connect with us

World News

Feature: Violence Against Women Must Stop; Five Stories of Strength and Survival

Published

on

UN Women/Mohammed BakirAfter suffering in a violent and abusive relationship, Layla went to the police, accompanied by a friend.Wednesday, November 24, 2021UN News

Globally, nearly one-in-three women have experienced violence, with crises driving the numbers even higher.

Gender-based violence (GBV), the most pervasive violation of human rights, is neither natural, nor inevitable, and must be prevented.

Marking the 16 Days of Activism to combat violence against women and girls, UN Women is showcasing the voices of five survivors, each of whose names has been changed to protect their identity. Be forewarned that each character sketch includes descriptions of gender-based violence.

‘Convinced’ she would be killed

From the Argentine province of Chaco, 48-year-old mother of seven, Diana suffered for 28 years before finally deciding to separate from her abusive partner.

“I wasn’t afraid that he would beat me, I was convinced that he would kill me,” she said.

At first, she hesitated to file a police complaint for fear of how he might react, but as she learned more about the services provided by a local shelter, she realized that she could escape her tormentor. She also decided to press charges.

Living with an abusive father, her children also suffered psychological stress and economic hardship.

Leaving was not easy, but with the support of a social workers, a local shelter and a safe space to recover, Diana got a job as an administrative assistant in a municipal office.

Accelerate gender equality

Violence against women and girls is preventable.Comprehensive strategies are needed to tackle root causes, transform harmful social norms, provide services for survivors and end impunity.Evidence shows that strong, autonomous women’s rights movements are critical to thwarting and eliminating VAWG.The Generation Equality Forum needs support to stem the VAWG violence.

“I admit that it was difficult, but with the [mental health] support, legal aid and skills training, I healed a lot,” she explained.

Essential services for survivors of domestic violence are a lifeline.

“I no longer feel like a prisoner, cornered, or betrayed. There are so many things one goes through as a victim, including the psychological [persecution] but now I know that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to”.

Diana is among 199 women survivors housed at a shelter affiliated with the Inter-American Shelter Network, supported by UN Women through the Spotlight Initiative in Latin America. The shelter has also provided psychosocial support and legal assistance to more than 1,057 women since 2017.

Diana’s full story is here.

Survivor now ‘excited about what lies ahead’

Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through Bangladesh, triggering a VAWG surge, many shelters and essential services shut down

Romela had been married to a cruel, torturous man.

“When I was pregnant, he punched me so hard I ended up losing my baby…I wanted to end my life”, she said.

She finally escaped when her brother took her to the Tarango women’s shelter, which in partnership with UN Women, was able to expand its integrated programme to provide safe temporary accommodations, legal and medical services, and vocational training to abused women who were looking for a fresh start.

Living in an abusive relationship often erodes women’s choices, self-esteem and potential. Romela had found a place where she could live safely with her 4-year-old daughter.

Opening a new chapter in her life, she reflected, “other people always told me how to dress, where to go, and how to live my life. Now, I know these choices rest in my hands”.

 “I feel confident, my life is more enjoyable,” said the emancipated woman.

Tarango houses 30–35 survivors at any given time and delivers 24/7 services that help them recover from trauma, regain their dignity, learn new skills, and get job placement and a two-month cash grant to build their economic resilience.

“Our job is to make women feel safe and empowered, and to treat them with the utmost respect and empathy,” said Programme Coordinator Nazlee Nipa.

Click here for more on her story.

UN Women/ Fahad Kaizer

Romela escaped her abusive marriage when her brother took her to a women’s shelter in Bangladesh.

Uphill battle with in-laws

Goretti returned to western Kenya in 2001 to bury her husband and, as dictated by local culture, remained in the family’s homestead.

“But they wouldn’t give me food. Everything I came with from Nairobi – clothes, household items – was taken from me and divided between the family,” she recounted.

For nearly 20 years after her husband’s death, Goretti was trapped in a life of abuse until her in-laws they beat her so badly that she was hospitalized and unable to work.

Afraid to go to law enforcement, Goretti instead reached out to a local human rights defender, who helped her get medical attention and report the case to the local authorities.

However, she quickly discovered that her in-laws had already forged with the police an agreement in her name to withdraw the case.

“But I cannot even write”, Goretti said.

Human rights defenders in Kenya are often the first responders to violations, including GBV. Since 2019, UN Women and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have been supporting grass-roots organizations that provide legal training and capacity-building to better assist survivors.

In addition to reporting the issue to local police and the courts, human rights defender Caren Omanga, who was trained by one of these organizations, also contacted the local elders.

“I was almost arrested when confronting the officer-in-charge”, Ms. Omanga explained. But knowing that the community would be against Goretti, she started “the alternative dispute-resolution process, while pushing the case to court”.

Finally, with her case settled out of court, Goretti received an agreement granting her the property and land title that she had lost in her marriage dowry, and the perpetrators were forced to pay fines to avoid prison.

“It is like beginning a new life after 20 years, and my son is feeling more secure… I’m thinking of planting some trees to safeguard the plot and building a poultry house”, she said.

Read Goretti’s story in its entirety here.

UN Women/Luke Horswell

Goretti (right) speaks with Caren Omanga of the Nyando Social Justice Centre in Kenya.

Raising consciousness

In Moldova, sexual harassment and violence are taboo topics and, fearing blame or stigmatization, victims rarely report incidents.

At age 14, Milena was raped by her boyfriend in Chisinau. She was unaware that her violation was a sexual assault and continued to see her abuser for another six months before breaking up. Then she tried to forget it.

“This memory was blocked, as if nothing happened”, until two years later, upon seeing an Instagram video that triggered flashbacks of her own assault, she said.

Almost one-in-five men in Moldova have sexually abused a girl or a woman, including in romantic relationships, according to 2019 research co-published by UN Women.

Determined to understand what had happened to her, Milena learned more about sexual harassment and abuse, and later began raising awareness in her community.

Last year, she joined a UN Women youth mentorship programme, where she was trained on gender equality and human rights and learned to identify abuse and challenge sexist comments and harassment.

Milena went on to develop a self-help guide for sexual violence survivors, which, informed by survivors aged 12 – 21, offers practical guidance to seek help, report abuse, and access trauma recovery resources.

Against the backdrop of cultural victim-blaming, which prevents those who need it from getting help, the mentoring programme focuses on feminist values and diversity, and addresses the root causes of the gender inequalities and stereotypes that perpetuate GBV and discrimination.

“The programme has shown that youth activism and engagement is key to eliminating gender inequalities in our societies”, explained Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Country Representative in Moldova.

Read more about Milena here.

Support survivors, break the cycle of violence

A 2019 national survey revealed that only three-out-of-100 sexual violence survivors in Morocco report incidents to the police as they fear being shamed or blamed and lack trust in the justice system.

UN Women/Mohammed Bakir

Saliha Najeh, Police Chief at Casablanca Police Unit for Women Victims of Violence.

Layla began a relationship with the head of a company she worked for. He told her he loved her, and she trusted him.

“But he hit me whenever I disagreed with him. I endured everything, from sexual violence to emotional abuse…he made me believe that I stood no chance against him”, she said.

Pregnant, unmarried and lonely, Layla finally went to the police.

To her great relief, a female police officer met her, and said that there was a solution.

“I will never forget that. It has become my motto in life. Her words encouraged me to tell her the whole story. She listened to me with great care and attention”, continued Layla.   

She was referred to a local shelter for single mothers where she got a second chance.

Two years ago, she gave birth to a daughter, and more recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics.

“I was studying while taking care of my baby at the single mother’s shelter”, she said, holding her daughter’s hand. 

UN Women maintains that building trust and confidence in the police is an integral part of crime prevention and community safety.

When professionally trained police handle GBV cases, survivors are more likely to report abuse and seek justice, health and psychosocial services that help break the cycle of violence while sending a clear message that it is a punishable crime.

Over the past few years, the General Directorate of National Security, supported by UN Women, has restructured the national police force to better support women survivors and prevent VAWG.

Today, all 440 district police stations have dedicated personnel who refer women survivors to the nearest specialized unit.

“It takes a lot of determination and courage for women to ask the police for support”, said Saliha Najeh, Police Chief at Casablanca Police Unit for Women Victims of Violence, who, after specialized training through the UN Women programme, now trains her police officers to use a survivor-centred approach in GBV cases.  

As of 2021, 30 senior police officers and heads of units have been trained through the programme.

“Our role is to give survivors all the time they need to feel safe and comfortable, and for them to trust us enough to tell their story”, she said.

Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco has also expanded channels for survivors to report and access justice remotely through a 24-hour toll-free helpline, an electronic complaints mechanism, and online court sessions.

Click here for the full story.

These stories were originally published by UN Women.

© UN News (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: UN News

Original Post: globalissues.org

World News

UNESCO Member States Adopt Recommended Ethics for AI

Published

on

The agreement outlines the biases that AI technologies can “embed and exacerbate” and their potential impact on “human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, gender equality, democracy … and the environment and ecosystems.”by SWAN – Southern World Arts News (paris)Friday, November 26, 2021Inter Press Service

The adopted text, which the agency calls “historic”, outlines the “common values and principles which will guide the construction of the necessary legal infrastructure to ensure the healthy development of AI,” UNESCO says.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. Credit: AM/SWAN

The text states that AI systems “should not be used for social scoring and mass surveillance purposes,” among other recommendations.

The organization’s 193 member states include countries, however, that are known to use AI and other technologies to carry out such surveillance, often targeting minorities and dissidents – including writers and artists. Governments and multinational companies have also used personal data and AI technology to infringe on privacy.

While such states and entities were not named, UNESCO officials acknowledged that the discussions leading up to the adopted text had included “difficult conversations”.

Presenting the agreement Nov. 25 at the organization’s headquarters in Paris, UNESCO’s Director-General Audrey Azoulay said the initiative to have an AI ethics framework had been launched in 2018.

“I remember that many thought it would be extremely hard if not impossible to attain common ground among the 193 states … but after these years of work, we’ve been rewarded by this important victory for multilateralism,” Azoulay told journalists.

She pointed out that AI technology has been developing rapidly and that it entails a range of profound effects that comprise both advantages to humanity and wide-ranging risks. Because of such impact, a global accord with practical recommendations was necessary, based on input from experts around the world, Azoulay stressed.

The accord came during the 41st session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which took place Nov. 9 to 24 and included the adoption of “key agreements demonstrating renewed multilateral cooperation,” UNESCO said.

While the accord does not provide a single definition of AI, the “ambition” is to address the features of AI that are of “central ethical relevance,” according to the text.

These are the features, or systems, that have “the capacity to process data and information in a way that resembles intelligent behaviour, and typically includes aspects of reasoning, learning, perception, prediction, planning or control,” it said.

While the systems are “delivering remarkable results in highly specialized fields such as cancer screening and building inclusive environments for people with disabilities”, they are equally creating new challenges and raising “fundamental ethical concerns,” UNESCO said.

The agreement outlines the biases that AI technologies can “embed and exacerbate” and their potential impact on “human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, gender equality, democracy … and the environment and ecosystems.”

According to UNESCO, these types of technologies “are very invasive, they infringe on human rights and fundamental freedoms, and they are used in a broad way.”

The agreement stresses that when member states develop regulatory frameworks, they should “take into account that ultimate responsibility and accountability must always lie with natural or legal persons” – that is, humans – “and that AI systems should not be given legal personality” themselves.

“New technologies need to provide new means to advocate, defend and exercise human rights and not to infringe them,” the agreement says.

Among the long list of goals, UNESCO said that the accord aims to ensure that digital transformations contribute as well to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” (a UN blueprint to achieve a “better and more sustainable future” for the world).

“We see increased gender and ethnic bias, significant threats to privacy, dignity and agency, dangers of mass surveillance, and increased use of unreliable AI technologies in law enforcement, to name a few. Until now, there were no universal standards to provide an answer to these issues,” UNESCO stated.

Regarding climate change, the text says that member states should make sure that AI favours methods that are resource- and energy-efficient, given the impact on the environment of storing huge amounts of data, which requires energy. It additionally asks governments to assess the direct and indirect environmental impact throughout the AI system life cycle.

On the issue of gender, the text says that member states “should ensure that the potential for digital technologies and artificial intelligence to contribute to achieving gender equality is fully maximized.”

It adds that states “must ensure that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of girls and women, and their safety and integrity are not violated at any stage of the AI system life cycle.”

Alessandra Sala, director of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science at Shutterstock and president of the non-profit organization Women in AI – who spoke at the presentation of the agreement – said that the text provides clear guidelines for the AI field, including on artistic, cultural and gender issues.

“It is a symbol of societal progress,” she said, emphasizing that understanding the ethics of AI was a shared “leadership responsibility” which should include women’s often “excluded voices”.

In answer to concerns raised by journalists about the future of the recommendations, which are essentially non-binding, UNESCO officials said that member states realize that the world “needs” this agreement and that it was a step in the right direction.

© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

Article: globalissues.org

Continue Reading

World News

Digital Child’s Play: Protecting Children From the Impacts of AI

Published

on

UNICEF/ DiefagaUNICEF has developed policy guidance to protect children from the potential impacts of AIFriday, November 26, 2021UN News

Children are already interacting with AI technologies in many different ways: they are embedded in toys, virtual assistants, video games, and adaptive learning software. Their impact on children’s lives is profound, yet UNICEF found that, when it comes to AI policies and practices, children’s rights are an afterthought, at best.

In response, the UN children’s agency has developed draft Policy Guidance on AI for Children to promote children’s rights, and raise awareness of how AI systems can uphold or undermine these rights.

Conor Lennon from UN News asked Jasmina Byrne, Policy Chief at the UNICEF Global Insights team, and Steven Vosloo, a UNICEF data, research and policy specialist, about the importance of putting children at the centre of AI-related policies.

AI Technology will fundamentally change society.

Steven Vosloo, a UNICEF data, research and policy specialist, by UNICEF

Steven Vosloo At UNICEF we saw that AI was a very hot topic, and something that would fundamentally change society and the economy, particularly for the coming generations. But when we looked at national AI strategies, and corporate policies and guidelines, we realized that not enough attention was being paid to children, and to how AI impacts them. 

So, we began an extensive consultation process, speaking to experts around the world, and almost 250 children, in five countries. That process led to our draft guidance document and, after we released it, we invited governments, organizations and companies to pilot it. We’re developing case studies around the guidance, so that we can share the lessons learned.

Jasmina Byrne AI has been in development for many decades. It is neither harmful nor benevolent on its own. It’s the application of these technologies that makes them either beneficial or harmful.

There are many positive applications of AI that can be used in in education for personalized learning. It can be used in healthcare, language simulation and processing, and it is being used to support children with disabilities.

And we use it at UNICEF. For example, it helps us to predict the spread of disease, and improve poverty estimations. But there are also many risks that are associated with the use of AI technologies. 

Children interact with digital technologies all the time, but they’re not aware, and many adults are not aware, that many of the toys or platforms they use are powered by artificial intelligence. That’s why we felt that there has to be a special consideration given to children and because of their special vulnerabilities.

UNICEF/ Diefaga

Children using computers

Privacy and the profit motive

Steven Vosloo The AI could be using natural language processing to understand words and instructions, and so it’s collecting a lot of data from that child, including intimate conversations, and that data is being stored in the cloud, often on commercial servers. So, there are privacy concerns.

We also know of instances where these types of toys were hacked, and they were banned in Germany, because they were considered to be safe enough.

Around a third of all online users are children. We often find that younger children are using social media platforms or video sharing platforms that weren’t designed with them in mind.

They are often designed for maximum engagement, and are built on a certain level of profiling based on data sets that may not represent children.

Jasmina Byrne, Policy Chief at the UNICEF Global Insights team, by UNICEF

Predictive analytics and profiling are particularly relevant when dealing with children: AI may profile children in a way that puts them in a certain bucket, and this may determine what kind of educational opportunities they have in the future, or what benefits parents can access for children. So, the AI is not just impacting them today, but it could set their whole life course on a different direction.

Jasmina Byrne Last year this was big news in the UK. The Government used an algorithm to predict the final grades of high schoolers. And because the data that was input in the algorithms was skewed towards children from private schools, their results were really appalling, and they really discriminated against a lot of children who were from minority communities. So, they had to abandon that system. 

That’s just one example of how, if algorithms are based on data that is biased, it can actually have a really negative consequences for children.

‘It’s a digital life now’

Steven Vosloo We really hope that our recommendations will filter down to the people who are actually writing the code. The policy guidance has been aimed at a broad audience, from the governments and policymakers who are increasingly setting strategies and beginning to think about regulating AI, and the private sector that it often develops these AI systems.

We do see competing interests: the decisions around AI systems often have to balance a profit incentive versus an ethical one. What we advocate for is a commitment to responsible AI that comes from the top: not just at the level of the data scientist or software developer, from top management and senior government ministers.

Jasmina Byrne The data footprint that children leave by using digital technology is commercialized and used by third parties for their own profit and for their own gain. They’re often targeted by ads that are not really appropriate for them. This is something that we’ve been really closely following and monitoring.

However, I would say that there is now more political appetite to address these issues, and we are working to put get them on the agenda of policymakers.

Governments need to think and puts children at the centre of all their policy-making around frontier digital technologies. If we don’t think about them and their needs. Then we are really missing great opportunities.

Steven Vosloo The Scottish Government released their AI strategy in March and they officially adopted the UNICEF policy guidance on AI for children. And part of that was because the government as a whole has adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child into law. Children’s lives are not really online or offline anymore. And it’s a digital life now.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. You can listen to the interview here.

UNICEF/ Schverdfinger

UNICEF has developed policy guidance to protect children from the potential impacts of AI

The Global Forum on AI for Children

On November 30 – December 1, UNICEF and the Government of Finland host the Global Forum on AI for Children.This event gathers the world’s foremost children’s rights and technology experts, policymakers, practitioners and researchers, as well as children active in the AI space, to connect and share knowledge on pressing issues at the intersection of children’s rights, digital technology policies and AI systems.The forum aims to recap project achievements and impacts, share knowledge of what has worked and what hasn’t for more child-centred AI, and enable networking on how the work can continue and inspire participants to act.

© UN News (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: UN News

Source: globalissues.org

Continue Reading

World News

Growing Amazon Deforestation a Grave Threat to Global Climate

Published

on

Brazil has a “green future,” announced Environment Minister Joaquim Leite and Vice-President Hamilton Mourão, in a videoconference presentation from Brasilia at the Glasgow climate summit, in an attempt to shore up Brazil’s credibility, damaged by Amazon deforestation. The two officials concealed the fact that deforestation in the Amazon rose by 21.9 percent last year. CREDIT: Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil-Fotos Públicasby Mario Osava (rio de janeiro)Friday, November 26, 2021Inter Press Service

The report by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) based on the data for the year covering August 2020 to July 2021 is dated Oct. 27, but the government did not release it until Thursday, Nov. 18.

It thus prevented the disaster from further undermining the credibility of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, already damaged by almost three years of anti-environmental policies and actions, ahead of and during the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the climate change convention, held in Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 13.

INPE’s Satellite Monitoring of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon Project (Prodes) recorded 13,235 square kilometers of deforestation, 21.97 percent more than in the previous period and almost three times the 2012 total of 4,571 square kilometers.

The so-called Legal Amazon, a region covering 5.01 million square kilometers in Brazil, has already lost about 17 percent of its forest cover. In a similar sized area the forests were degraded, i.e. some species were cut down and biodiversity and biomass were reduced, according to the non-governmental Amazon Institute of People and the Environment (IMAZON).

Carlos Nobre, one of the country’s leading climatologists and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the world’s largest tropical forest is approaching irreversible degradation in a process of “savannization” (the gradual transition of tropical rainforest into savanna).

The point of no return is a 20 to 25 percent deforestation rate, estimates Nobre, a researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo and a member of the Brazilian and U.S. national academies of sciences.

Reaching that point would be a disaster for the planet. Amazon forests and soils store carbon equivalent to five years of global emissions, experts calculate. Forest collapse would release a large part of these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

A similar risk comes from the permafrost, a layer of frozen subsoil beneath the Arctic and Greenland ice, for example, which is beginning to thaw in the face of global warming.

This is another gigantic carbon store that, if released, would seriously undermine the attempt to limit the increase in the Earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.

The Amazon rainforest, an immense biome spread over eight South American countries plus the territory of French Guiana, is therefore key in the search for solutions to the climate crisis.

Evolution of the deforested area in the Brazilian Amazon since 1988, with its ups and downs and an upward tendency in the last nine years. Policies to crack down on environmental crimes by strengthened public agencies were successful between 2004 and 2012. Graphic: INPE

Brazil, which accounts for 60 percent of the biome, plays a decisive role. And that is why it is the obvious target of the measure announced by the European Commission, which, with the expected approval of the European Parliament, aims to ban the import of agricultural products associated with deforestation or forest degradation.

The Commission, the executive body of the 27-nation European Union, does not distinguish between legal and illegal deforestation. It requires exporters to certify the exemption of their products by means of tracing suppliers.

Brazil is a leading agricultural exporter that is in the sights of environmentalists and leaders who, for commercial or environmental reasons, want to preserve the world’s remaining forests.

The 75 percent increase in Amazon deforestation in the nearly three years of the Bolsonaro administration exacerbates Brazil’s vulnerability to environmentally motivated trade restrictions.

This was the likely reason for a shift in the attitude of the governmental delegation in Glasgow during COP26.

Unexpectedly, Brazil adhered to the commitment to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, a measure that affects cattle ranching, which accounts for 71.8 percent of the country’s emissions of this greenhouse gas.

As the world’s largest exporter of beef, which brought in 8.4 billion dollars for two million tons in 2020, Brazil had previously rejected proposals targeting methane, a gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in global warming.

Brazil also pledged to eliminate deforestation by 2028, two years ahead of the target, and stopped obstructing agreements such as the carbon market, in a totally different stance from the one it had taken in the previous two years.

The threat of trade barriers and the attempt to improve the government’s international reputation are behind the new attitude. The new ministers of Foreign Affairs, Carlos França, and Environment, Joaquim Leite, in office since April and June, respectively, are trying to mitigate the damage caused by their anti-diplomatic and anti-environmental predecessors.

But the new data on Amazon deforestation and the delay in its disclosure unleashed a new backlash.

President Jair Bolsonaro stated that the Amazon has kept its forests intact since 1500 and does not suffer from fires because it is humid, in a Nov. 15 speech during the Invest Brazil Forum, held in Dubai to attract capital to the country. He made this claim when he already knew that in the last year deforestation had grown by almost 22 percent. CREDIT: Alan Santos/PR-Fotos Públicas

Leite claimed not to have had prior knowledge of the INPE report, difficult to believe from a member of a government known for using fake news and disinformation. He announced that the government would take a “forceful” stance against environmental crimes in the Amazon, commenting on the “unacceptable” new deforestation figures.

Together with the Minister of Justice and Public Security Anderson Torres, who has the Federal Police under his administration, he promised to mobilize the necessary forces to combat illegal deforestation.

The reaction is tardy and of doubtful success, given the contrary stance taken by the president and the deactivation of the environmental bodies by the previous minister, Ricardo Salles, who defended illegal loggers against police action.

The former minister stripped the two institutes executing environmental policy, one for inspection and the other for biodiversity protection and management of conservation units, of resources and specialists. He also appointed unqualified people, such as military police, to command these bodies.

President Bolsonaro abolished councils and other mechanisms for public participation in environmental management, as in other sectors, and encouraged several illegal activities in the Amazon, such as “garimpo” (informal mining) and the invasion of indigenous areas and public lands.

The result could only be an increase in the deforestation and forest fires that spread the destruction in the last two years. The smoke from the “slash-and-burn” clearing technique polluted the air in cities more than 1,000 kilometers away.

Bolsonaro, however, declared on Nov. 15 in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, that fires do not occur in the Amazon due to the humidity of the rainforest and that 90 percent of the region remains “the same as in 1500,” when the Portuguese arrived in Brazil.

His vice-president, General Hamilton Mourão, acknowledged that “deforestation in the Amazon is real, the INPE data leave no doubt.” His unusual disagreement with the president arises from his experience in presiding over the National Council of the Legal Amazon, which proposes and coordinates actions in the region.

Brazil had managed to reduce Amazon deforestation since the 2004 total of 27,772 square kilometers. A concerted effort by environmental agencies reduced the total to 4,571 square kilometers in 2012. This shows that it is possible, but it depends on political will and adequate management.

© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

Article: globalissues.org

Continue Reading

Trending

Chimed.com