Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest and Development in the Rest of Brazil

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Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and development in the rest of Brazil had led to many conflicting interests in the Amazon region. This is a global issue and can affect many lives e.g by global warming and other factors. The Brazilian rainforest is being used for natural resources, which is in great demand. This leads to deforestation (clearance of forest land). The rainforest is so important to people because without it there would be loss of wildlife, loss of medicine, soil erosion, decrease in soil fertility and many other valued factors. This issue is clearly a very big impact on peoples lives, not just people who are living in the rainforest, but worldwide. Already 65% of the worlds rainforest had been deforested and Brazil had lost an area the size of Spain in the last 20 years. One third of the worlds remaining rainforests are in the Amazon region. Geologists predict that at once, vast forests covered approximately two-thirds of the Earths surface. Although this number has steadily decreased, it is now doing so at an alarming rate.

I will research this by agreeing or disagreeing with the hypothesis, of which is: "Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is a major global environmental issue that only the government can solve, do you agree?"

I predict that my research for this essay will show that the first part of the hypothesis will be true "deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is a major global environmental issue." But I think that my research will tend to disagree with the second part of the hypothesis "that only the government can solve."

The rainforests are being cleared for a number of reasons. New roads are being built to transport timber, cattle and crops to businesses. People have also settled on these roads. The longest road stretches 5300km (3300 miles). Iron, gold and copper have all been discovered in the rainforest. Mining companies have all taken an affect on the Amazon rainforest by felling trees and building roads through the rainforest to reach these high-valued deposits. Huge areas of land have been flooded so they can construct hydro-electric power (HEP) plants in order to generate electricity by harnessing the power of the mighty Amazon River. Cattle-ranching causes large areas of the rainforest to be destroyed, this has been carried out by multi-national companies (MNC's). The beef from the cattle-ranchers is then cheaply sold to the United States and Europe to make more burgers. The profit which Brazil make (hardly anything) is then paid back to the MEDC's (more economically developed country), who they owe a massive amount of money to-(estimated 225 billion - SOURCE G). Exports of Brazilian beef grew 30% un 2001 to $1bn. Another reason is to evenly spread the wealth, so the poor wouldn't be so poor and the rich wouldn't be so rich. The Brazilian government has allowed deforestation to take place in the Amazon rainforest. There are many reasons for this, but he main one being to bring the wealth to the country, (by developing Brazil), by using natural resources.

Development seems to be ruining the lives of, but also making life better for some. As well as there being many down-sides to deforestation, there are also many seeking advantages. The most inciting argument for development is to make enough money to pay back Brazil's endless debt problem, which has recently decreased in 2001 to 225billion dollars. According to some, this is the only way out of Brazil's long-lasting debt problem, even if it means destroying the Amazon rainforest. SOURCE J shows that Brazil had a large debt problem. It states: 'Brazil has a large trade deficit'. This meaning; Brazil is spending more money on imports then exports; therefore they are losing out on money, which leads to more DEBT! This source also says that 'In the year beginning 1999, Brazil needed to find about $95bn to fund its debt obligations and to pay for its trade deficit.' Since 1999 to 2000, Brazil's debt problem decreased...
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