According to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest forecast, Costa Rica and the rest of Latin America face a number of complex challenges over the coming years.
The challenges include water scarcity, deforestation, the collapse of wildlife habitats and animal extinction, the research – which was one of the IPCC’s follow-ups to September’s global climate change assessment.
Latin America has the highest biodiversity on the planet, but is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change, the report said, noting: “Coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, rocky reefs and shelves, and seamounts have few to no areas left in the world that remain unaffected by human influence.”
The region’s tropical forests will be replaced by savannas before too long, said the research, with existing savannas, grasslands and shrub lands already at risk from forest fires and agricultural grazing.
Latin America’s largest and most populous country, Brazil, was singled out as a result of its forest management, which the report said has contributed to the climate change in the region.
“Tropical deforestation is the second largest driver of anthropogenic climate change on the planet, adding up to 17-20 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions during the 1990s”, Tico Times reported the IPCC as saying.
The IPCC confirmed that 39 per cent of all the world’s annual deforestation takes place in Brazil, with nearly 22,000 square kilometres of forest cover cleared each year.
Ethical companies such as Greenwood Management already play an important role in ensuring rare trees are protected in the Brazilian rainforest and it is essential to ensure we all do our bit, especially in the light of the IPCC research.