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Fires in Amazon challenge emission reduction program
Date:6/3/2010

d jeopardise the benefits achieved through UN-REDD as trends in fires are the opposite to trends in deforestation. However despite UN-REDDs vital importance in this region, fire is currently neglected in the emerging UN framework.

Naturally occurring fires are very rare in the Amazon. Fires are normally caused by humans who farm the land. Burning deforested areas on a three to five year rotational basis improves the nutrients in the soil keeping it fertile and at a level that can produce food. Predications that climate change will create a drier area across the Amazon adds to the concern, as it is a difficult to control the spread of fires in such vast areas. The best option is to stop fires from occurring in the first place.

Dr Aragao explained, We need to change the way Amazonian people use and manage their land so that they can do this without fire. They would need financial assistance for machinery, training and technical support to enable them to comply with implementation and maintenance of fire-free management of their land.

He added, By changing land management practices in already deforested areas to fallow management and introducing more diversified and sustainable agricultural practices at a co-operative community level, it is possible to drastically reduce fires and carbon emissions. It would be expensive but it would protect the stability of Amazonian carbon stocks and diversity.


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Contact: Esther White
pressoffice@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-126-2307
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

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