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Latin America - Essay Example

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Holmer (2008) defines an ecosystem as a term that encompasses the living things in a given natural environment, interacting with not only each other, but also with their non-living things such as atmosphere and soil. The environment in Latin America changed in three ways:…
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Latin America: Geography and Ecosystem What happened to the ecosystems of the region when the people changed the environment? Where the changes made for the better or for the worse, for the region?
Holmer (2008) defines an ecosystem as a term that encompasses the living things in a given natural environment, interacting with not only each other, but also with their non-living things such as atmosphere and soil. The environment in Latin America changed in three ways: subdivision of land, construction of dams and electric plants, and increased mining activities. Thus, the ecosystem changed a lot. So many animals around the areas where the dams were built died. Also, the forests were cleared. This aspect changed the ecosystem of the areas permanently.
In addition, thousands of people moved in to work on the projects, an aspect which further led to degraded environment and global warming. The subdivision of land led to reduced food, turning small holder’s farmers into peasants ( Hobbs, 2008). Mining areas degraded farming lands and destroyed the natural environment for micro-organisms. These developments were both for worse and better of the region. For worse, the natural environment had been destroyed and better, it lead to production of minerals which spurred economic growth.
2) How what the people did, regarding the regions physical geography, affect its political future and institutions?
Initially, the entire Latin America was under colonial government which also had many interests in the region. It had an America based United Fruit company which functioned as a unifying factor in the region. The Company owned large tracts of land which covered or spilled in nearly all countries in Latin America. This means that Latin America during colonial time was actually treated like one region geographically ( Hobbs, 2008). As such, the company and thus, the United States had a lot of influence on the regional politics.
However, local leaders started changing laws governing land. For instance, the president of Guatemala, Arbenz developed land reform laws that were actually seen as a threat to the existence or interests of the American Based Fruit company. The president did not stay for long; he was ousted in 1954 by a group supported by CIA.
This aspect disorganized the politics of the region. In fact, some of the countries in the region have not been so stable in terms of leadership. They also play second fiddle to the US when it comes to international trade treaties. What is more, its institutions have lacked behind of because of the unstable leadership. For instance, Mexico only started maximizing its petroleum potential in 2003, despite having discovered the mineral in 1960 ( Hobbs, 2008).
3) Make a final statement including your opinion and conclusions.
Personally, I think the challenges faced by the region were instigated or triggered by the colonial government. For instance, most of forested land in Latin America was cleared by the colonial government for agricultural use. This aspect negatively affected the ecosystem of the region. In addition, the introduction of mining areas also served to accelerate the rate at which the natural ecosystem was destroyed. Land for agricultural use was affected, an aspect that reduced the food capacity of the region.
In conclusion, Latin America was negatively affected by both local forces and colonial government. Whilst the colonial government started it, locals perfected it. The continued destruction of natural forests by the Brazilian authorities to set up dams is a good example.
References
Hobbs, J. (2008). World Regional Geography. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Holmer, M. (2008). Aquaculture in the ecosystem. Dordrecht ; London: Springer. Read More
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