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The Burning Amazon

The Burning AmazonFor more than 10 years, men have been burning the Amazon rainforest for cattle ranching. While deforestation is also connected to commercial activities for lumber, soy, paper and palm, the cattle industry is responsible for up to 80 percent of the clearings. Call it progress or greed and lawlessness --however you view the burning of the Amazon, the immense scale of the fires, especially in Brazil, post serious ecological threats.In 2009, the three biggest Brazilian meatpacking companies, JBS, Minerva and Marfrig, signed an agreement with the environmental group Greenpeace not to buy cattle from ranchers from newly deforested areas. But the vows have been only partially kept and manipulated via the complicated supply chain.An estimated 173,746 square miles of forest -- the size of California, plus Massachusetts and New Jersey -- have been converted to cattle pasture, according to the Yale School of Forestry. Ranch farming has generated over $6 billion in annual export revenues and about 360,000 jobs in Brazil. As livestock might be bought and sold multiple times until it reached the ranch that sold it directly to a slaughterhouse, most of the Amazon ranches that sold cattle directly to JBS, Marfrig and Minerva were essentially middlemen. Those middlemen aggregated cattle from various inadequately regulated farms, according to data from University of Wisconsin. The supply chain has made the phenomenon of “cattle laundering” common and created a roadblock to fulfilling the Greenpeace agreement. Greenpeace pulled out of the agreement in 2017.After Greenpeace, Brazilian federal prosecutors signed a deal with 13 additional national meat-packers allowing federal law enforcement officers to monitor the source of their cattle, so that slaughterhouses would relinquish ties with deforesting cattlemen. Eventually, about 100 signed on, including the Big 3. The deal did lead to improvements, as the meatpacking companies established the protocols to monitor their suppliers. On the other hand, limited amount of new land for grazing has increased demand for beef, both domestically and internationally. The result was a surge in the cattle laundering practice that has undermined the deals.At present, none of the meat packing companies are making substantial efforts to track their suppliers. With the far-right politicians in power, boosting the economy takes precedence other environmental agenda. In the future, we’re likely to witness more forest fire and further deforestation. The Amazon is continually on fire, and would not cease burning in the foreseeable future. 燃烧的亚马逊 十多年来,人们一直在放火燃烧亚马逊雨林来养牛。砍伐森林也与林业、大豆、造纸和棕榈的商业活动有关,但养牛业占据砍伐量的80%。称其为进步,或者贪婪和无法无天 -- 无论您的看法如何,人人皆知晓巴西亚马逊熊熊燃烧的大火将造成严重的生态威胁。 2009年,巴西最大的三个肉品包装公司JBS、Minerva和Marfrig与环保绿色和平组织(Greenpeace)签署了一项协议,同意将不从新砍伐森林地区的牧场购买牛只。但是此协议在业者操纵复杂的供应系统情况下只得以部分实现。 根据耶鲁大学林业学院的估计,大约有173,746平方英里的森林(相当于加州,加上马萨诸塞州和新泽西州的面积)已转变为牛牧场。牧业在巴西每年创造超过60亿美元的出口收入,并创造约360,000个就业机会。由于供应商可能会多方买卖牲畜,将牲畜直接卖给屠宰场的牧场并不是牛只转卖之唯一场所,所以大部分将牲畜直接卖给JBS、Marfrig和Minerva的亚马逊牧场基本上都是中间人。威斯康辛大学的数据显示,那些中间商聚集了来自监管不佳的各种农场的牛,此种供应链已经使“洗牛”现象变得普遍,并为实现绿色和平协议创造了障碍。绿色和平组织于2017年退出了该协议。 在绿色和平组织之后,巴西联邦检察官与另外13个国家肉类包装商签署了一项协议,允许联邦执法人员监视其牲畜来源,从而促使屠宰场放弃与砍伐森林的牧民联系。最终,包括三大屠宰场在内的约100家公司皆签署了协议。随着肉类包装公司建立了监控供应商的协议,看房情况确实改善。另一方面,国内外放牧的新土地数量有限,对牛肉的需求增加。结果是洗牛活动激增,难保绿色和平协议。目前,没有一家肉类包装公司在努力追踪其供应商。此外,在右翼政客掌权的情况下,促进经济优先于其他环保议程。将来,我们可能会目睹更多的森林大火和进一步的森林砍伐。亚马逊一直在烧,并且在可预见的将来绝不熄火。

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