The Forests Of Rio De Janiero

883 words - 4 pages

Resource Shortage: The Forests of Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro is the second larges metropolis in Brazil and home to 11 million people. The rapid growth in the population of Rio de Janeiro has caused deforestation and degradation of the land and therefore, resulted in serious ecological and natural resource issues. Many areas of Rio de Janeiro have adopted programs aimed at resolving these issues and making the land sustainable for future generations.The ProblemDecades of logging, sugarcane harvesting, cattle breeding, and most recently coffee cultivation has resulted in the degradation of more than 1/5 of Rio de Janeiro's land (Haberle and Laar, 2003). Rio de Janeiro, which is located in the domain of the Mata Atlântica Forest, has been the victim of deforestation of such proportions that only 10% of its territory is still covered by native forest (Haberle and Laar, 2003). This fact has had a devastating effect on Rio de Janeiro's ecosystem. Much of the growing population lives in poverty-stricken settlements known as favelas on deforested hillsides. The degradation of the land in these areas causes instability that results in landslides, mudslides, and rockfalls that kill hundreds of people every year (Siegel, n.d.).Further complications in these deforested areas have arisen from the growth of a type of grass known as capim-colonião, which strangles growth of the remaining trees and is highly susceptible to fires. The lack of trees has caused the water tables to fall resulting in a lack of water for the population (Haberle and Laar, 2003). The water that is present is in the form of mud left from the landslides, which only serves as breeding grounds for disease carrying mosquitoes (Siegel, n.d.). The lack of water and food and the level of poverty suffered by the people of Rio de Janeiro as a result of the deforestation are out of control. If the people of Rio de Janeiro are to make it, these problems must be addressed.The Solution: ReforestationExperts agree that in order to save Rio de Janeiro, some of the lands need to be reforested. Accomplishment of this project requires cooperation of the government and the citizens as well as the support of local companies. All parties involved must have the desire to see the project through to completion if it is to be successfulCostThe cost to reforest one hectare of land is $13,000 US dollars, which includes $4,000 for planting and $9,500 for the care and cultivation over a three-year period (Walker, Maurer, and Kepron, 1998). These costs will need to be absorbed by the local government along with funding from local companies and projects. One project that was devised in 1999 for this purpose is the Project of Environmental Education in Practice. The project involved having children bring in recyclable materials into their school...

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