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Brazilian Rainforest Deforestation, What It's Effecting And How Much Longer It Will Be Around

2201 words - 9 pages

Deforestation of the Amazon RainforestIt is simply a matter of time before there may no longer be an Amazon rainforest. Numerous factors contribute to the forest's destruction but, the main threat is an economic one. The dependence of the Brazilian citizens on wood from the country's forest for fuel and export as well as income from mining in forest areas has resulted in deforestation of the Amazon. Environmental activists and animal rights supporters from around the world have been attempting to raise awareness of the devastating results both to the environment and to endangered species.The Amazon rainforest is located along the Amazon River in Brazil (map, Appendix 1). At 4,000 miles long it is one of the longest in the world, second only to the Nile River in Africa. Seventeen of the Amazon's tributaries are over 1,000 miles long. At some places the river is 300 miles across and it is so deep that ocean liners can travel 2,300 miles up its length. One fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin and over 2,000 types of fish have been found there. (Rainforest Facts, 6) The river is the strongest driving force behind the forest itself. The rainforest is home to countless living species and many natural resources such as gold, uranium, bauxite, manganese, cassiterite, oil, and gas. (Rainforest Facts, 9)In addition to having many natural resources, the Amazon Rainforest is home to 564 species of mammals, 15 million species of insect, 500,000 species of plants and numerous types of micro organisms, accounting for thirty percent of the world's biodiversity. (Rainforest Action Network, 1) Many of these species are endangered due to the massive deforestation of the rainforest. Much of it is being cut down, burned, or severely damaged. In 1970, 1 percent of the rainforest in Brazil had been cleared. By 2000 deforestation increased to 15 percent. In 30 years rainforest land the size of France had been destroyed. In 1996 it was reported that the Amazon showed a 34 percent increase in deforestation since 1992. About 53,000 square miles of forest are destroyed each year, a portion approximately the size of North Carolina. (Deforestation of Tropical Rainforests, 1)The deforestation is destroying the habitats of half of the world's plant and animal species.(Rainforest Facts, 1) As the rainforest decreases in size, its' ability to sustain life also decreases. If this current rate of deforestation continues, the habitats of the animals of the Amazon rainforest will permanently be destroyed along with the animals themselves. (See chart, Appendix 2) If deforestation doesn't slow down, all the rainforest could be gone by 2030. (Rainforest Action Network, 1)One of the reasons that people are destroying the rainforest is economic. Poor countries such as Brazil are in debt to wealthier countries. The more wealthy and powerful countries are exploiting the poor ones by stealing their natural resources. The wealthier countries are becoming wealthier because...

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