RIO DE JANEIRO – The Atlantic Forest deep in the heart of Brazil may soon completely disappear.
NDJ World | Published: Sep 21 2012 Lifestyle
The unique forest, protected under the World Heritage and nominated a biosphere reserve is all but wiped off the world’s map and may shortly disappear forever from Sao Paulo.
Exploding human population, increased oil mining and the expansion of two harbors are the reason this little gem of natural wonders may soon be gone, according to the Projeto Litoral Sustentável (Project Sustainable Coast) of the Polis Institute.
Sao Paulo has the largest human population in South America. Many homes in the city are build without proper permits or approval threatening the existence of the primeval forest, according to Kazuo Nakano, one of the coordinators of the investigation.
“In the prettiest zones of the coast line there are beautiful homes given the city limited chance to expand.”
“When people don’t have the financial means to buy these homes, they’re going to live in illegal or protected zones,” Nakano says.
The Atlantic Forest has a very unique ecosystem that offers some of the most diverse animal specie on the planet, including 120 different types of mammals, the largest collection in Brazil.
The environmental agency SOS Mata Atlântica calculated that the Atlantic Forest shrunk by 50 square miles from 2010 to 2011.
Because of constant deforestation, the Atlantic Forest currently has only 7.9 percent of its original vegetation remaining.
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