Agriculture in the Amazon Rainforest

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Agriculture in the Amazon Rainforest
Throughout a hundred centuries people have worked hard to sustain productive agriculture and dense human populations. Certain forms of agriculture are possible, and should be considered sustainable, for the economic development of tropical rainforests. For thousands of years humans have created a disturbance in the rainforests by creating areas of concentrated diversity of species within the landscape. The Indigenous people of the Amazon fostered palm forests, groves of Brazil nuts and fruit trees, and vine forests near ancient Amazonian settlements. Environmentalists could argue that rainforests can be “saved” by through the restriction of economic growth, but it is vital to realize that the local communities will not approve parks and reserves, as it is in their interest to conserve the rainforest. The shifted cultivator who forces small farmers into the forest to begin new farmlands causes about 60% of deforestation in Amazon. Researchers have warned if we continue to change the use of the land it can affect the region’s climate, and the absorption of carbon dioxide in the Amazon. “By converting forests into cropland there is a pronounced ecological and climate impact than land conversions because it involves the complete removal of land biomass, including tree trunks, stumps and woody roots.” (Mike Bettwy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center). A better approach to addressing the increasing problem of deforestation in the Amazon is to follow the methods that have been used by indigenous forest dwellers for thousands of years. Many cleared forest areas used for agriculture can be salvaged by cultivation techniques. Annual crops, pasture land, are some examples of what can be done to increase agricultural productivity and to reduce the destruction in many rainforests.

Effects of human population on the Ecosystem Over 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has been...
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