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

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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