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Amazon Deforestation - Essay Example

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Summary
Amazon is one of the largest forests that have a lot of significance to Brazil and its neighboring countries. However, going by the spate of destruction witnessed since 1970s, Amazon may soon be no more. This paper will tell about the deforestation of Amazon and measures that should be taken…
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Amazon Deforestation

Download file to see previous pages... Global warming is one of the major concerns of the world today. The problem is caused by the increased greenhouse emissions coming from different countries worldwide. However, findings show that about 15% of carbon emissions come from tropical deforestation. This level of emissions is more than the total emissions from all automobiles combined. Therefore, preservation of forests is one of the surest ways of slowing down global warming. This begins by preserving Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, which is at threat of disappearance due to deforestation.
Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is one f the world’s largest tropical rainforest. However, the forest has been at threat of deforestation, which began in 1970s. Report indicates that before the deforestation of the forest began, Amazon forest cover was estimated at about 4,100,000 square kilometers. The forest at the time consisted of different types of trees and acted as home for several species of birds, animals, microorganisms, and even human beings.The high forest cover also acted as water catchment area for major rivers in Brazil and neighboring countries.At the same time, the forest received an estimated half of the country’s annual rainfall. However, all these have significantly been lost through deforestation.
The World Bank report indicates that an estimated 745,289 square kilometers of Amazon forest has been lost since 1970s to 2011.Despite there being a slight decline in the destruction in the recent times following conservation initiatives put by the Brazilian government, more still needs to be done to preserve the forest. As a result,only about 3,354,711 km2 of the forest cover remained by 2011 down from 4,100,000 km2 of the forest cover in 1970 and earlier....
A number of factors have been noted as the leading causes of destruction of Amazon. Top of the causes according to a study is the clearing the forest for pasture. Report indicates that about 38% of the deforestation that took place from1966 to1975 was due to large-scale ranching. This figure has since increased to about 60%, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). This is reverberated by the fact that Brazil’s economy depends hugely on beef products exported to different parts of the world. However, much of the ranching expansion has taken place in Amazon, which has more than 80% of heads of cattle. Presently an estimated 214,000 square miles of land have been cleared to give space for pasture. This space is larger than the size of France (Butler par.3). The destruction has also been caused by subsistence agriculture being undertaken by the poor farmers in the forest after the Brazilian government provided land to the landless poor through the country’s land policy. According to Brazil’s land policy, every citizen has a right to use any government piece of land for a period of at least one year and a day. The squatter has the right to acquire ownership of the land after five years hence the right to sell the land. Report indicates that the Brazilian government granted land ownership in Amazon to about 150,000 families from 1995 to 1998. Poor farmers typically have the tendency of clearing land-using fire. In fact, satellite images taken on the forest show numerous images of fires burning across the Amazon (Campari 21). The deforestation of Amazon has also been increased by the move by the Brazilian government to clear the land for purposes of improving its ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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