Environment

The uncertain future of Brazil’s Pantanal

There is a significant risk that the ecosystem of the Pantanal, the world's largest wetland will suffer irreversible changes

pantanal wetlands future
Photo: ESB Professional/Shutterstock

The largest wetland in the world, Brazil’s Pantanal is under existential threat. A wave of fires that started three months ago has already destroyed 27 percent of the entire biome, equivalent to an area larger than Belgium. Beyond the drastic impact on the region’s flora and fauna, experts have warned that the Pantanal’s landscape and soil could now suffer irreversible changes — and local industry is set to pay its own price.

While having an abundance of water, fires are an annual occurrence in the Pantanal. This is a result of the accumulation of dry leaves and bushes...

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