The rainforests of the Brazilian Amazon, the most biologically diverse place on Earth, are shrinking by tens of thousands of square kilometers a year. About 60 to 70 percent of that deforestation occurs as ranchers cut, burn and bulldoze trees, often illegally, to create pastures for the country’s burgeoning cattle industry. In recent years, Brazil has become the largest exporter of beef and, not coincidentally, one of the largest polluters in the world.

 

Fires from the burning forests and the ovens that heat the wood into charcoal fill the skies. The cattle, too, are responsible for methane gases. “Every year in the dry season, the rainforest is burning. If it’s not the rainforest, it’s the pastures,” says Lohuizen. Even nature reserves, such as Terra do Meio, are not safe from the illegal deforestation.

 

Kadir van Lohuizen ‘Brazil’s Range War’ is part of NOOR’s climate change group project.