Pantanal is one of the smallest but, still, most important Brazilian environments. The zone is considered an Ambiental Heritage by the Brazilian Government and a World Heritage and a Biosphere Reserve by UNO. With over 4.700 species found in the area, this biome has gigantic biodiversity, and therefore, it needs to be preserved.
Besides its importance, Pantanal has been slowly destroyed in the last few years. The advance of agriculture into the Cerrado’s highlands and the construction of hydroelectric power plants in the rivers around the biome, impact the water flows, so important to the Pantanal, which is considered the world’s biggest portion of flooded land on the continent.
Furthermore, in 2020, 30% of the region was damaged by historical fires. The SOS Pantanal has helped to extinguish the flames and recuperate the environment afterward. The director of the institution, Felipe Dias, explains that the biome has entered, in 2018, a cyclic drought period, which is completely normal and lasts about five years: “What we need to do now is understand this period and try to adapt to it, so that the biome is not harmed”.
And that is the main objective of the institution: understanding to protect. Since the creation of the organization, in 2009, they have mapped the whole territory to be able to know, in-depth, the spots of deforestation. In addition, they have called attention to the Pantanal, especially through social media (@sospantanal), which has fastly grown by popularizing videos and photos showing the horrors the fire had caused. The attention was also caught by the Government, which has started to invest more money to protect the area since the institution was created. This year, the state of Mato Grosso has announced a funding of R$ 65 million to fight against deforestation and fires, the biggest amount of money offered in the last 10 years.
Even though much has been done to the Pantanal through the institution, it is still important to help them preserve the biome. Specialists say that this year there are high chances of another chain of big fires, and people must look after it. To protect the place, says Dias, it is important to know it first. Some good ways to do it is by searching about the environment, and for those who can, to visit this place so rich in nature. To get more information about the Pantanal or the Institution you can access their site (www.sospantanal.com.br)!
The article above was edited by Giulia Lozano Pacini.
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