Building a green economy could stop ‘nightmare’ degradation of Amazon

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US scientist Thomas Lovejoy says the rainforest’s rich biodiversity has been undervalued compared to economic activities such as farming and mining

The Amazon will be transformed into a “highly degraded nightmare” unless a sustainable biodiversity-based economy develops which properly values ecosystem services and products produced by the rainforest, a leading scientist has warned.

Prof Thomas Lovejoy, the “godfather of biodiversity”, said if agro-industrial economic developments such as cattle farming, palm oil production and mining continue, the rainforest’s hydrological cycle will be “in tatters”, with global weather systems severely disrupted.

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