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Development projects in the Amazon.

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Introduction

Development projects in the Amazon Transport The first requirement to develop the rainforest was to make it accessible. Over 12 000 km of new roads have been built in the rainforests, starting with the 5300 km Trans - Amazonian Highway. This provided the means for people to move into the region, as well as allowing resources such as timber, minerals and farm produce to be brought out. Small-Scale Farming The government offered poor rural people in Brazil plots of land in the rainforest. Thousands of families have moved into the area from other areas of the country to take advantage of this scheme, particularly from the drought-ridden north-east region of Brazil. Commercial cattle ranching This is usually run by large trans-national companies. Ranchers burn areas of forest, replacing trees with grass. ...read more.

Middle

Hydro-electric power The rainforest has an unlimited supply of water, and good conditions for HEP development. More than 125 HEP dams are built in the next 15 years, but the vast areas of forest will be flooded by the creation of large lakes. Settlement Large areas of forest have been cleared for the development of new settlements. In 1960, the population of the Amazonia was 2 million. Now it is more than 30 million. TASKS 1). Environmentalists think that tropical rainforests are so important because they fear the loss of the rainforests unique biodiversity. They point out the Amazons home to plant species which provide everything from chocolate to today's most important medicines. 2). Deforestation affects the environment at a local and global scale as once all the trees are cut down, all other elements of the environment are affected. ...read more.

Conclusion

b). Logging causes greater damage than previously thought as they found out that logging crews annually cause severe damage to between 10 000 and 15 000 sq. km of forest that are not included in current deforestation estimates. They also discovered that fires burning on the surface consume large areas of forest which again are not recorded. c). Researchers feel that the Brazilian governments monitoring of deforestation using satellite images alone is not accurate enough, as they found that only a tenth of the area classified as forest actually supported undisturbed forest. The researchers say: 'Satellite-based deforestation monitoring is an essential tool in studies of human effects on tropical forests, because it documents the most extreme form of land use, over large areas, and at low cost.' But this monitoring needs to be expanded to include forests affected by logging and surface fire if it is to accurately reflect the full magnitude of human influences on tropical forests. James Furnell 11E Geography Classwork ...read more.

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