Amazonian forest degradation must be incorporated into the COP26 agenda – Nature.com

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Nature Geoscience volume 14pages 634–635 (2021)
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To the Editor — Nations will reaffirm their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26; www.ukcop26.org), in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021. Revision of the national commitments will play a key role in defining the future of Earth’s climate. In past conferences, the main target of Amazonian nations was to reduce emissions resulting from land-use change and land management by committing to decrease deforestation rates, a well-known and efficient strategy1,2. However, human-induced forest degradation caused by fires, selective logging, and edge effects can also result in large carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions1,2,3,4,5, which are not yet explicitly reported by Amazonian countries. Despite its considerable impact, forest degradation has been largely overlooked in previous policy discussions5. It is vital that forest degradation is considered in the upcoming COP26 discussions and incorporated into future commitments to reduce GHG emissions.

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This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001. N.S.C., A.C.M.P., J.B.C.R, P.M.F. and L.E.O.C.A. thank the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for funding (processes 140379/2018-5, 140877/2018-5, 301597/2020-0, 311103/2015-4 and 305054/2016-3, respectively). A.P.-L. thanks the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP; process 2016/21043-8) for funding. V.H. was supported by a NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership studentship from the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/L002434/1). D.M.L. acknowledges funding from FAPESP (2015/02537-7) and from the AIMES (Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System) programme. A.A., C.S. and P.B. were funded by Global Wildlife Conservation (grant no. 5282.019-0285) and Climate Land Use Alliance (G-2010-57219). E.B. and J.B. were funded by the UK Research and Innovation (NE/S01084X/1) and the BNP Paribas Foundation (Bioclimate). J.F., E.B. and J.B. thank CNPq for funding (processes 441573/2020-7, 441659/2016-0, 441949/2018-5, and 420254/2018-8). L.O.A. thanks the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI; process SGP-HW 016), the CNPq (processes 441949/2018-5 and 442650/2018-3), and FAPESP (processes 2016/02018-2, 2019/05440-5, and 2018/14423-4) for funding. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. This Correspondence presents the personal views of the authors based on their scientific expertise but is not aimed at representing the official positions of their own organizations. Portuguese and Spanish versions of this Correspondence are provided at https://github.com/celsohlsj/ngeo_correspondence.
These authors contributed equally: Celso H. L. Silva Junior, Nathália S. Carvalho, Ana C. M. Pessôa.
Tropical Ecosystems and Environmental Sciences Laboratory (TREES), São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil
Celso H. L. Silva Junior, Nathália S. Carvalho, Ana C. M. Pessôa, João B. C. Reis, Aline Pontes-Lopes, Juan Doblas, Wesley Campanharo, Henrique Cassol, Yosio E. Shimabukuro, Liana O. Anderson & Luiz E. O. C. Aragão
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil
Celso H. L. Silva Junior, Nathália S. Carvalho, Ana C. M. Pessôa, Aline Pontes-Lopes, Juan Doblas, Wesley Campanharo, Henrique Cassol, Luciana Gatti, Ana P. Aguiar, Yosio E. Shimabukuro & Luiz E. O. C. Aragão
Universidade Estadual do Maranhão (UEMA), São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil
Celso H. L. Silva Junior
Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais (CEMADEN), São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil
João B. C. Reis & Liana O. Anderson
University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Viola Heinrich & Joanna House
Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM), Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Ane Alencar, Camila Silva & Paulo Brando
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
David M. Lapola
Ecología del Paisaje y Modelación de Ecosistemas (ECOLMOD), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL), Bogota, Colombia
Dolors Armenteras
Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil
Eraldo A. T. Matricardi
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Erika Berenguer
Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
Camila Silva, Erika Berenguer & Jos Barlow
South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA
Izaya Numata
Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA) Amazônia Oriental, Belém, Pará, Brazil
Joice Ferreira
University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Paulo Brando
Woodwell Climate Research Center, Falmouth, MA, USA
Paulo Brando
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Philip M. Fearnside
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, USA
Sassan Saatchi
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sassan Saatchi
Universidade Federal do Acre (UFAC), Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil
Sonaira Silva
University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
Stephen Sitch & Luiz E. O. C. Aragão
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Ana P. Aguiar
School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Carlos A. Silva
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, VA, Italy
Christelle Vancutsem, Frédéric Achard & René Beuchle
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia
Christelle Vancutsem
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Correspondence to Celso H. L. Silva Junior.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Geoscience thanks Gregory Asner for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Silva Junior, C.H.L., Carvalho, N.S., Pessôa, A.C.M. et al. Amazonian forest degradation must be incorporated into the COP26 agenda. Nat. Geosci. 14, 634–635 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00823-z
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Published: 02 September 2021
Issue Date: September 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00823-z

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