Demonstration about the catastrophe in Rio Grande do Sul

Image: Gilvan Rocha/ Agência Brasil
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By WATER GEOGRAPHY RESEARCH NETWORK IN BRAZIL*

Despite the tragedy that is plaguing part of Rio Grande do Sul, we remain firm and together to offer emergency support and for the reconstruction of the state

1.

Faced with the catastrophe that is plaguing Rio Grande do Sul, we express our solidarity with the people, animals and biomes affected. Critical situations also occurred in the Amazon, Pantanal, Serra do Mar, to name a few, which points to the recurrence of extreme events.

Geography has a tradition in several areas, such as Climatology, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Urban and territorial planning, among others, which could avoid the scale of the current scenario. But the practices promoted by governments almost always do not respect scientific recommendations, especially those related to the climate emergency. Scientific denialism is present at various levels of management, unfortunately. To mitigate the effects of climate change, it is necessary to adopt measures on a global, national, regional and local scale.

A series of factors led to the situation present in Rio Grande do Sul. Among them are omissions by government officials and the pursuit of profit without responsibility and public spirit by others. This generates the occupation of plains, river terraces and deforestation in Brazilian territory due to the introduction of agribusiness monoculture, which is among the main causes of this social phenomenon, combined with changes generated by climate change. The oceans have warmer waters, which also affects the climate. These aspects were aggravated by the dismantling of environmental legislation and socio-environmental management bodies.

2.

In addition to emergency support for those affected, it is essential to think about the necessary reconstruction of the affected areas, but within new parameters. The reoccupation of Rio Grande do Sul's territory must be guided by adaptation to extreme events, which must occur more frequently and, at the same time, by repairing social injustices.

To this end, the Water Geography Research Network in Brazil recommends that an interdisciplinary team be formed by the Federal government with representatives of municipal, state and federal powers, and civil society, including Universities, research bodies, popular movements and representatives of original and quilombola communities to build an Action Plan strengthened by the resilience of the Gaucho people.

Despite the tragedy that is plaguing part of Rio Grande do Sul, we remain firm and together to offer emergency support and for the reconstruction of the state.

*Water Geography Research Network in Brazil - https://www.rede-geografia-das-aguas-no-brasil.com/ - geography.das.aguas.brasil@gmail.com


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