Category Archives: POV

Amazon rainforest: Near a tipping point of savannization

There used to be about 6 trillion trees on Earth. Today, only about 3 trillion trees remain, and despite significant efforts, we continue to lose about 15 billion trees every year.

The Amazon is the largest rainforest on Earth. It’s nearly twice the size of India and considered to be the half of the planet’s remaining tropical forest. The Amazon contains 10% of the world’s biodiversity, more than any other land ecosystem. Yet deforestation and degradation threaten this priceless ecosystem.

The Amazon is very near a tipping point of savannization. If we continue with deforestation and unable to control global climate change, 50-70% of the Amazon will become a degraded savannah. It will release over 200 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere making it almost impossible to reach the Paris Accord targets.

Deforestation in the Amazon increased in 2020. Research shows that a warmer and drier environment for the region could convert from 30% up to 60% of the Amazon rainforest into a type of dry savanna. This means less shelter for biodiversity and increased carbon emission.

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There is a dire need to get deforestation and forest degradation to zero very soon (in a few years) as well as to find ways to restore huge areas. The potential of forest products sitting there is tremendously large. For example, acai berry, cacao, brazil nuts, etc. have much higher economic value today than the traditional cattle ranching and crops.

So, there is huge potential to find a new way of bio economy (a standing-forest bio economy) making economic use of hundreds of forest products and making them reach markets all over the planet.

The Amazon bio economy challenge is desperately calling for ecopreneurial solutions to preserve and restore the forest’s biodiversity and ecosystem functions, with innovative business models like agroforestry and ecotourism.

These solutions are both feasible and sustainable because they are inclusive, locally anchored, and share social and economic benefits with indigenous communities by building a bioeconomy that restores and conserves the Amazon.

Many indigenous leaders in the Amazon today want to get access to modern technologies. They are open and see the possibilities of merging their knowledge with modern technologies.

To save the Amazon you have to preserve the forests, which is possible if you are able to enhance the economic value of the standing forest.

Innovative entrepreneurs and investors are essential to make this path possible. However, a lot more needs to be done to scale up the efforts in a sustainable way.

Top 10 Countries with Poor Air Quality: PM2.5 Exposure in 2019

Photo by Vitaly Vlasov on Pexels.com

PM2.5 particulate matter is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and can only be seen through an electron microscope. PM2.5 is capable of entering the bloodstream via the lungs. These fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, coal-burning power plants, waste burning, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes.

Noise Pollution in Nepal

Regarding noise pollution, Sound Quality National Standard 2012 is the only benchmark set by the Government of Nepal.

Moreover, Nepal does not have any specific regulation, robust implemented/enforced rules or long term concrete plans to control noise pollution in various urban cities. This is 2021 and it is sad to know that the reality on the ground is still a far cry from the national standards; except during the Covid-19 lockdown hours, of course.

Where,

L10 is the sound level in dB that is exceeded 10% of the time over measurement period.

L50 is the sound level in dB that is exceeded 50% of the time over measurement period.

L90 is the sound level in dB that is exceeded 90% of the time over measurement period.

Leq is the average equivalent continuous sound level over a particular time period (T)

Lmax is the maximum sound level measured during the measurement period with the sound
meter set on SLOW response.

Lmin is the minimum sound level measured during the measurement period with the sound meter set on SLOW response.

Noise pollution has been ignored in Nepal for a long time now and the situation is even worse in big cities like Kathmandu.

(Source: Noise Level Status in Siddharthanagar Municipality, Rupandehi, Nepal, Lakshmi Nath Bhattarai)