A 14-Year Effort to Protect the Amazon From Soy Farming Expansion

For the last 14 years, thanks to an initiative supported by both the public and private corporations, the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in the interest of soy farming dramatically decreased. As a result of this remarkable campaign, today, nearly no soy production from the region contributes to deforestation!

Deforestation in the Amazon forest The Damage Soy Farming Was Doing

In 2006, Greenpeace exposed the damage that was done by clear-cutting the Amazon rainforest that was done in 2005 to accommodate soy farming needs. The devastation done covered nearly four million acres of forest and Greenpeace activists demanded that something’s done about it. As a result, many major soy companies in the area signed the Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM), promising not to buy soy that was grown in the newly-deforested areas.

Soy stop sign Why the Moratorium Was Effective

Environmental economist and assistant professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Robert Heilmayr, and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin Madison have studied ASM’s amazing effects. Heilmayr explains how, over the last decade, ASM saved over 7,000 square miles of the rainforest, and did so without pushing the deforestation to other areas in the region. This is likely thanks to similar efforts to prevent deforestation in the cattle industry that began in 2008.

What truly made ASM a success is that its signatories made up nearly 90% of all soy purchases in the region, so there was no other way for the agricultural sector to persevere without making adjusting their practices. Other important contributing factors were the involvement of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and several environmental organizations.

Soy farming in the Amazon rainforestSoy Production in the Amazon Continues to Thrive

All the parties involved decided to renew the ASM in 2016 indefinitely. Even so, soy production continued to expand within the parameters of the ASM, increasing to 17.2 million tons in 2019 from 4,9 million tons recorded in 2006. This policy managed to preserve commercial viability while also representing a victory for sustainable agriculture and environmentalists.

This Teacher Walks 5 Miles Every Day to Deliver Free Lunches to Students

Many people choose to become teachers because they not only want to educate the future generation but because they want to inspire them and impact their lives in a positive way. While there are many difficulties and troubles when it comes to being a teacher, there’s no doubt about the fact that most of them go out of their way to treat their students as if they were their own children. This is certainly the case for one teacher.

Shutting Down Schools

Due to the ongoing pandemic, schools in the United Kingdom have shut down. While this isn’t too much of a problem for some students, there are many other students in the country who rely on the school canteen for at least one meal a day. For the assistant principal at Western Primary School in Grimsby, he has seen for himself that their lunchtime meal means so much to certain students. Because of this, Zane Powles knew that he had to do something.

Delivering The Food

Because he didn’t want the children to miss out on these meals – or any homework they may need to complete – Zane has decided to walk 5 miles every single day to visit the students from his school at their front door. He drops off free school lunches to around 78 students, and he carries them all on his back as he does so. While he used to be in the military, carrying around 40 pounds of extra weight is certainly no easy feat.

Totally Worth It

Alongside Zane’s effort, the principal and another teacher have also jumped on board this plan, and they deliver another 25 free school lunches to those students who live further afield – and they deliver these in their cars. Of course, they keep their distance during the whole process.

It’s amazing to see that teachers are still inspiring the younger generation even when school is closed.