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DeforestationThe world’s largest rainforest is home to a diverse array of exquisite plants and animal species, covering an impressive 1.7 billion acres across French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil: the Amazon. For most of human history, the Amazonia was the main source for farmers who cut down trees to produce their crops for families and local consumption.Since the early 2000’s large-scale agriculture has been responsible for more than three-quarters of its forest clearings. In 1940 the President of Brazil, Getulio Dornelles Vargas released a national development program in the Amazon basin which exploited the forest for agriculture and extractive industry and soon in the 1960’s rapid signs of deforestation began because they wanted the development of this land quickly. Clearing the land for cattle’s ranching was one of the focuses of this program; this would raise national revenues and as a result pay off debts the country was facing.Loggers, farmers, and cattle ranchers have mangled areas larger than France! It is an urgent priority to establish systems to protect the areas from rapid deforestation. What is the Brazilian government doing to reduce this? Collaborations with the space agency to monitor from the sky as rangers control the ground like Evandro Carlos Selva, IBAMA environment ministry manager. Using high tech satellites to narrow searches and potentially reduce the fine line between food demand and the forest. Due to this collaboration, it is reported that from 2004 where nearly 11,000 square miles of deforestation was occurring at an annual rate, in this video a plunge to 1,700 square miles was obtained.Since monitoring and control have begun in the forest, 75% of deforestation has decreased and a huge win for the restless fight against clearings in the Amazon. There is no single solution to the ongoing destruction of the rainforest. There is a wide spectrum of things that contribute to mass deforestation and a wide spectrum of ways to help prevent it. Aside from satellite monitoring, pressure from environmentalists, public and private sector initiatives, and macroeconomic trends have also fueled this progressive decline. Locals have even begun to attract ecotourism to educate foreigners.Brazil is to become the world’s largest soy producing nation, and the fourth largest world polluter. Logging trees and burning of the forest releases high quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to the climate changes. Soy is a worldwide traded commodity and an essential source of protein in the feed for farm animals. Brazil produces almost 30 percent of the global crop. In 2003 soy crops started to drive the deforestation market.The rapid advance of soybeans into former cattle ranches in Mato Grosso is inducing ranchers to sell their lands and reinvest their proceeds to buy and clear land cheaper and deeper in the Amazon region. Soy is stimulating an increase in highways, higher land prices, and encouraging land speculation. At the same time, the reproduction of roads has opened previously inaccessible forests, illegal logging, and Land speculation. Highway BR163 Fire, sawmills, and chains are used most often when clearings lands for rising demands. Ground rangers can take an approximate two days to reach lands under alert. They are able to assess the situation to enforce fines, confiscate equipment, and cut access to business markets.Rangers from IBAMA have special authorization to be armed for self-protection because they are in wild frontiers. There is a huge battle to implement effectively the laws and create a government system to manage it all. There is a continuous urgency to increase the amount of inspectors and ground rangers, but the Amazon is enormous.  In 2003, there were 193 rangers and 30 operations to protect the rainforest and in 2009, it reached 300 annual operations with an approximate 1,200 rangers. It is still a grand difficulty to cover it all.Greenpeace is an ally to IBAMA. Their activities protect themselves with bulletproof jackets and vehicles.  Death threats and contract killings await anyone who stands in the way of illegal ranchers, loggers, and farmers. The job becomes dangerous when dealing with land and money. In many cases, illegal loggers work with stolen trucks. The Amazon is as much a crime against humanity as it is towards nature. Over 25,000 slaves are trapped in logging camps and cattle ranches. With the focus of protecting the Amazon, more than 32% of the rainforest is now off limits to deforestation.Reducing deforestation and protecting the forests is a battle that continues as the demand for beef, soy and dairy rises. Deforestation is largely a business proposition; will people in the 21st century care enough to continue the fight of deforestation? Preserving the Amazon while protecting local livelihoods can make a major contribution to avoiding catastrophic climate change and simultaneously support ecological growth in the developing world.

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