Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest - Essay Example

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It is a major cause of the global climate change. The Amazon rainforest covers an area of approximately a billion acres with the largest portion of the forest located in Brazil (Gabler 2007, p…
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DEFORESTATION IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST and Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest Deforestation is the destruction of forests by humans to create land for other uses. It is a major cause of the global climate change. The Amazon rainforest covers an area of approximately a billion acres with the largest portion of the forest located in Brazil (Gabler 2007, p. 14). Other countries such as Colombia, Peru and Venezuela have some parts of the forest. The Amazon is home to many species of animals and plants.
Causes of deforestation
According to Barbosa, more than 300,000 square miles of land in the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed over the last four decades. It is worth noting that the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon is so rapid leading to climate change and other effects of globalization. The major cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is large-scale cattle ranching. Conversion of forestland to grassland in order to pave way for cattle production is widespread. The leather derived from cattle is exported to other countries while the beef is sold locally and within the highly populated urban markets. The environmentalists have pushed the government. Consequently, they have set stricter compliance regulations for cattle owners and slaughterhouses (Barbosa 2000 p. 34).
Another cause of deforestation in the region is commercial agriculture and logging. The emergence of the soybean resulted into major deforestation in the Amazon. The soybean impact drove farmers deeper into the forest. In addition, rice and sugar cane farmers have also invaded the forest. Illegal logging in the forest is also widespread (Andersen 2002 p. 56). Other causes of deforestation are clearance of forest cover for hydroelectric power and mining of mineral, oil and gas. Furthermore, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. Its high population, rampant rate of urbanization and economic growth has made farmers invade the Amazon.
Recent studies reveal that the destruction of the Amazon in every minute is an area equal to 50 football pitches (Carrington 2013 p. 1). Environmentalists fear that if this trend continues, approximately 20% of the forests tree cover will be lost in the next twenty years resulting into the crumble of the forests’ ecology.
List of References
Andersen, L. E., 2002. The dynamics of deforestation and economic growth in the Brazilian
Amazon. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Barbosa, L. C., 200). The Brazilian Amazon rainforest: global ecopolitics, development, and
democracy. Lanham: Univ. Press of America
Carrington, D., 2013. Amazon deforestation increased by one-third in past year. The Guardian
[Online] available a [29th April 2014]
Gabler, R. E., Petersen, J. F., & Trapasso, L. M., 2007. Essentials of physical geography.
Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole. Read More
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