BBC Brazil published an article today, titled “Incêndio em Portugal gera debate sobre o eucalipto, um dos motores econômicos do Brasil,” that translates to “Fire in Portugal Raises Debate on Eucalyptus, One of the Economic Engines of Brazil” in English.
According to the article, the fires in Portugal that devastated more than 30,000 hectares of forest and killed 64 people last week are raising the debate over the risks of planting eucalyptus, which has become key to the European economy – as well as Brazil’s.
See this translated quote from the story:
Large-scale eucalyptus plantations are criticized by environmentalists, who point to a contribution to the destruction of water resources – which fuels erosion – and the disappearance of fauna, since few animals can feed on their leaves.
In addition, its power to generate and propagate fires led the species to receive the nickname of “gasoline tree”.
“One of the main problems with eucalyptus is that it burns very fast and is very resistant to fire. It continues to survive during the fire and thanks to the heat its bark is released from the trunk, becoming a conductor of the flames,” explains Camargo (doctoral candidate on climate change and sustainable development policies at the University of Lisbon).