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Palm Oil Industry And Its Effects On The Indigenous Pleople Of Ecuador

1799 words - 7 pages

Rainforests are the most diverse biomes on the earth. The rainforest house many different species and support the lives of the indigenous tribes who depend on the forests for habitat, food, and way of life. The palm oil companies are spreading to many parts of the world, taking out regions of the forest in order to make room for their palm oil plantations. Palm oil is found in 50% of products we use every day from items like shampoo and conditioner to the food we eat (Rainforest Rescue 2013). If the rain forests are fragmented too much, not only will it cause the species to possibly go extinct but it will cause issues with tribes like the Waorani, who are nomadic and depend on the forest for food, shelter, and clothes. If we treat the forest like we did with the Indians in North America, their culture and way of life may not survive. They may not have enough forest left to continue their nomadic life.
The Waorani are dependent on the forest for their survival. The Waorani depend on the animals for food, the plants for medicine, the crops to build their homes and beds (Nova 1984). If the company’s palm oil plantations take away the forest, then they are taking away their source of protein as the monkeys will become scarce for them to find. The medicinal plants will be taken away as deforestation occurs and biodiversity among plants and animals decreases. The palm oil companies build large plantations that take away from the amount of land the Waorani will have access to. If these companies continue like this they will end up taking away too much of the forest and the Waorani’s nomadic way of life will no longer be successful and may even disappear.And the Waorani will not be the only tribe affected by the palm oil industry the Quichua will also be forced from the forest if this practice continues (Meentzen 1986: 1) Even if the tribe were to move to the city and live there, that could have devastating effects on their health. In class, we discussed this with the Mbuti as their health decreased as they were brought into city which has diseases the Mbuti didn’t have the immunity for and were further away from the plants they used for medicine.
The forest provides the tribes of Ecuador, like the Waorani, with a natural resource. The trees naturally filter out all the dirt and sand and particles that are unwanted in your water. If the forest is depleted much more effort will have to be put into making the water clean, which is easy in a wealthy society but not for the tribes. They don’t have a water treatment system. Also, the treatment of palm oil plants can affect the fish living in the streams. According to John Ashley, the managers of these plantations apply very toxic pesticides to these plants which gets into the water kills the fish and contaminates the drinking water for the locals. This water contamination has caused the locals to get sick as they drink and use the water for cooking. “The most dangerous pesticides being applied are...

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