How a Fraction of Farm Subsidies Could Save 10,000 Species

“Reporting in the journal Science, a team of international scientists have calculated that it would cost US$198 million per year to pay private owners to set aside land for reforestation. together with the conservation of existing tracts, this would be enough to conserve the majority of species and many of the benefits that come from the forest’s ecosystem, such as pest control and pollination.

US$198m is equivalent to only 6.5 per cent of what Brazil already invests in agricultural subsidies and less than 0.01 per cent of the country’s annual GDP.”

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Saffron toucanet Saffron toucanet

If Brazil shifted just 6.5 percent of its present agricultural subsidies to reforestation, it could save its precious Atlantic Forest–and incidentally benefit farmers, by improving pollination and pest control.  Here’s the press release from the Imperial College London:

Brazil could conserve its valuable Atlantic Forest by investing just 0.01 per cent of its annual GDP, according to a new study.

The Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) is one of the most important and threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, containing the only living examples of nearly 10,000 species of plant and more bird species than all of Europe.

Situated along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, it once covered an area of nearly 1.5 million square kilometres. Today, the forest is home to more than 130 million people and it covers only 160,000 km2, because of deforestation.

Reporting in the journal Science, a team of…

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