In this assignment I will be investigating Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. I have been given a hypothesis, which I have to agree or disagree with the statement by using the sources and from my own research. The hypothesis I have been given is 'Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is a major global environmental issue that only the Brazilian government can solve'. The whole issue is about deforestation, Deforestation is the felling and clearance of the forest land. It began in the Mediterranean lands many centuries ago.
Today is mainly taking place in the less economically developed countries that have the tropical rainforests as their natural vegetation. The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is one of the largest rainforest in the world, it contains 50% of the world's animal population and it produces one third of the world's oxygen. Pharmatical Company's across the world use plants from the forest to produce life saving medicines for the people of the world.
How and why is the rainforest being cleared ?
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There are many reasons to why the rainforest is being cleared. One of them is that the Brazilian government has allowed deforestation to take place in the Amazon rainforest is because they are in debt. They have let the Multinational companies deforest the rainforest so that they can raise money to pay off their debt owed to the banks in the MEDC countries. These developments are taking place now in the Amazon rainforest e.g. Commercial logging, cattle ranches, raw materials, mining and e.t.c. when these development takes place large areas of the rainforest has to be cleared out. From my research I found out that only 5% of the forest trees are actually wanted by the loggers but to get those trees they have to damage or destroy 65% of the remaining ones.
What groups benefit from deforestation in the Amazon rainforest ?
They are many people and groups that benefit from deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Mostly the MNC's, they have cleared large areas for cattle ranching. They have burnt down trees and replaced it with grass. Then the beef which is produced from the cattle ranches is gone to Europe and US to be made into burgers. The MNC's are also involved in logging, which has been permitted only in 13 designated areas. Source E supports my point, it says that "The USA is the main importer of Brazilian mahogany". The multinational companies pay tax for every area they felled but they benefit from it because the money goes back to the banks in MEDC countries to pay off their debts.
The external debt of Brazil's is getting lower by letting people and companies fell the trees in the rainforest as you can see in Source G shows a graph of the external debt of Brazil, which shows at the beginning the debt was low and then in the middle it got higher and now its getting lower. This source is consistent with Source J because it tells how the external debt got higher. In the Amazon rainforest large areas are being cleared to make hydro electric PowerStation because it rains a lot in the rainforest so there is unlimited water supply. The HEP stations provide cheap and plentiful energy for transport, domestic use and industry. The mining companies also benefit from it because there are huge deposits of iron ore, copper, gold, bauxite and other minerals in the rainforests. So these companies have felled the trees to build roads through the forest to reach these deposits.
What are the negative consequences of deforestation ?
Deforestation has many negative consequences globally and locally. The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is responsible for producing one third of the world's oxygen. Many trees have been felled, which has increased global warming because carbon dioxide is getting higher. Because of the increase of carbon dioxide it has started to destroy the ozone layer, which then lets the harmful rays from the sun reach earth. As you can see source O
States how carbon dioxide goes into air and also source P which also shows that America is the largest polluter. Source R also shows us that if there were no trees there won't be any oxygen, it also shows in the picture the clouds representing pollution. The other consequences are loss of wildlife where birds and insects rely on trees for food and shelter. There is a loss in medicine. It has also killed 96% of the Indians living in the rainforest because of the arrival of the Europeans. Those remaining have been driven from their homes by the constructions of roads, mines, reservoirs, cattle ranches and also forced to live in reservations. Source A talks about the Indians who are dying as development takes place. Their life styles are changing.
The felling of the trees has also led to soil erosion by the rain in the rainforest. It rains every half and hour and is led to frequent flooding because there are no trees. All the rich soil which has the humus in it is flowed away by the flooding. After the rain there is a lot of heat given by the sun which bakes the poor soil, which then the areas of the forest which don't have trees turn into deserts. As it is also stated in source F in the second paragraph that the "Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that the Amazon soil is not suitable for agriculture and cattle ranching". The hardwood is also becoming endangered. Source E also shows that the MNC's buy raw material like mahogany which they know come in illegal areas which they turn the blind eye on purpose. This source also talks about slavery which existed in the rainforest, which was abolished in 1888. People went to complain to the police about this but the police were corrupt and bribed and were useless.
The government is facing great problems now like the debts its facing which is getting higher everyday because of its interests. Brazil is trapped in the cycle of poverty. The government is also involved in causing more global warming and itself has done some deforestation in the rainforest. The other actions the government took was when the cities in the south east were very overcrowded and they reduce this problem by giving these people land in the middle of the rainforest where there wasn't a good infrastructure. The government has protected National Parks as it says in source C that the government has protected the rare areas of outstanding natural beauty to preserve and protect the future as these cannot be produced again. There are many companies who take advantage of Brazil's cheap resources. The Brazilian government has employed people from the favelas to work for these companies so the profit does not go straight out of the companies.
Evaluation of the sources used !
Source A is against development and it's quite recent. It says it's a Brazilian newspaper but we don't know which one, we don't know how many Amerindians there were in the beginning. It's incomplete and it also tells us that the Multinational Companies (MNC's) and the government are working together to move the people to the Amazon.
Source C is about what is the government doing? This source is sustainable but it is inconsistence and has exaggerated the facts like when it says in the third paragraph "From 2001 to April 2002, it transferred 20 million hectares." When the source was adapted from a Brazilian newspaper which we don't know in March 2002. This shows that the dates were exaggerated because April 2002 had not come yet.
Source E is against development and is reliable because it's a broad sheet which is more reliable than tabloid. There are other reasons why is reliable that is it there has been an interview with the MNC's, it's got facts, its quite recent, it has got dates and it tells us the true corruption.
Source F is against development. Although the first paragraph is reliable because of the via satellite which does not lie but the second paragraph we don't know which scientific studies. Although this source is from the charity which most of the time charities exaggerate so that they get money and get known. But this source is reliable because they have done space research.
Source G is for development because it's showing that by letting the MNC's deforest the rainforest their debt is getting lower. It is also reliable because it's consistent with source J and we also know the newspaper.
Source J is for development. The headline is exaggerated. It is very reliable because it's consistent with source G but only the date is old.
Source O is against development and it's reliable because the source is adapted from the UN. This source is 5 years old.
Source P is against development and it's reliable because the source is from the UN. This source tells us that America is the largest polluter. This source is also 5 years old.
Source R is against development. This source could be bias. This source shows us that the trees which provide oxygen are not there now, the clouds shows pollution and the person is getting bigger.
In my conclusion I agree with the hypothesis that only the Brazilian government can solve deforestation in the Amazon rainforest because they have started it and they are the one who can end it. One way they can make money without damaging or destroying the rainforest is by increasing their export so that their trade becomes surplus, that means that they export more than they import and by doing this they will get more money. There are two conflicts of interest in the rainforest. One is the groups that want to use the rainforest to make money.
The other group of people wants to protect the rainforest and leave it as it is. In the middle are the people who live there. These people living in the forest want to preserve and use the resources from the forest to improve their standard of living. The solution to this is to manage the rainforest sustainable which is using the resources carefully like when cutting down the trees needed you shouldn't destroy the surroundings with it. The Brazilian government can also charge more tax for every area the MNC's deforest and also make them plant 3 more trees in that area.
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