Protecting Brazil’s Amazon could be a Bargain — If the Government were Willing to Pay

Environmental News from America: 

  • A new study shows that conserving 350 million hectares (865 million acres) of the Brazilian Amazon — 83% of the biome — would cost between $1.7 billion and $2.8 billion a year.
  • That’s a fraction of the $5.3 billion that the European Union spends every year maintaining its 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres) of protected areas.
  • Current protected areas cover 51% of the Brazilian Amazon, which experts say isn’t enough to maintain the biome’s biodiversity and must be expanded.
  • While the cost for protecting the Amazon is hundreds of times cheaper, hectare for hectare, than in the EU, it’s much higher than what the Brazilian government allocates for environmental conservation.

To convert around 80% of the Brazilian Amazon into environmental conservation areas would cost Brazil just over half of what the European Union spends to maintain all of its own conservation areas. Hectare for hectare, it would work out hundreds of times cheaper.

That’s the conclusion from a study published in May in the journal Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, which put the cost of protecting 350 million hectares (865 million acres) of the Brazilian Amazon at $1.7 billion to $2.8 billion per year. That would cover two-fifths of Brazil’s total area.

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Source: Mongabay

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