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The Loss Of Tropical Rainforests: Solutions and ideas Case study: Brazil

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The Loss Of Tropical Rainforests: Solutions and ideas Case study: Brazil Introduction Deforestation is defined as the removal of forest by cutting and/or burning to provide land for agricultural purposes, residential or industrial building sites, roads, etc., or by harvesting the trees for building materials or fuel.(1) This map, (2) shows the major areas of tropical deforestation in the world right now; as you can see, all these areas occur in the tropics, and are all found in less developed-, or developing- countries. It's easy for us to think we can remain unaffected by this, and yet it is a fact that nearly half of this world's plant and animal species and microorganisms will become extinct, or become threatened by human action (3), notably by deforestation, of both tropical rainforests and dry forests. In Brazil, one fifth of the Amazon Rainforest's land has been cleared since 1980, when the government started handing out plots to anyone who wanted them. (4) Major Causes of Deforestation Obviously, the causes and reasons for deforestation are both too complicated and many to be touched on by a single report, so instead, I will include some that, in my time researching the field, seemed to be the biggest threats. ...read more.


Hardwoods such as mahogany, together with the 34 other marketable species in the Amazon Rainforest (15) can be worth hundreds of dollars at the sawmill, to a Brazilian (31% of whom live below the poverty line (16)) this is a worthwhile moneymaker; especially due to the ease of selective logging, and cheap availability of machinery (15). This may seem more sustainable that cutting large swathes into the rainforest, but on average, 30 other trees get harmed indirectly as a result of one getting chopped down, mostly due to vines being attached to others, and these other ones get pulled down too. Selective logging doubles the amount of forest that official statistics tell us are being destroyed, Nature Magazine tells us. Selective logging is also more likely to go unregulated and unmonitored as mostly it is done by locals and not by MNCs; this spans over five Brazilian states, and it is easy to see how hard laws are to enforce over such an expanse. The last point I will mention, being at already past 1,000 words, is cattle ranching, which is currently occupying 23% of the Amazon (13) ...read more.


Over one thousand rainforest cultures still exist, despite being in conflict with International Development Agencies, who take over their land and then ignore their basic rights, or even them, themselves. It is paramount that the British Government gets involved in this travesty of justice, and attempts to reconcile these lone cultures with the governments who have isolated them for so long. It would be easy to buy areas of strategic land at auction, to be put in a trust fund, owned by separate tribes, under the condition that large scale logging does not occur, nor slash and burn techniques to a great extent. Educating Our Youth As the curriculum for key stage three is currently being 'shaken up' (25) I feel it is time that in PSHE, or Personal, Social and Health Education, we put more emphasis on where our food and furniture comes from, with easy to understand labeling on any rainforest exports showing the area where it was grown has been suitable replanted; possibly with a national advertisement campaign if Greenpeace cause a storm over this part of the G8 meeting, possibly including a BBC made prime time series of short movies about the rainforest, promoting Britain's role in helping it out. ...read more.

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