Burning Season: the Chico Mendes’ Story

Topics: Sustainability, Natural environment, Ranch Pages: 3 (1094 words) Published: January 2, 2011
The Burning Season is a film that features Chico Mendes’ struggle, together with other rubber tappers, to save the Amazon forest. The movie presented many issues or problems. Some of which are deforestation, social conflict, and social inequality. However, these problems are just the many aspects of one major issue which is poverty and the prospect of development. Poverty is the least common denominator of Third World countries. And alleviating it is the basic reason why most of these countries strive for development. However, eradication of poverty in the name of development has an indirect impact on environment and vice versa. Third World countries as depicted in the movie suffer from environmental degradation due to the relentless exploitation of natural resources by the foreign companies. This exploitation causes low development carrying capacity of natural environment that eventually results in the low income and poverty. Ironically, this exploitation was initiated by the national government in the name of development. The issue may have transpired because there was a differing concept of development shown in the film. The Brazilian government tried to modernize the area for they view development as the procurement of foreign investments and the creation of ranches and roads while the natives view development as their subsistence from the forest. The government, in pursuit of its own goal overlooked the needs of the natives. What made the situation much worse for the natives is their government's unresponsiveness to their condition. Instead of addressing their needs, their government encouraged the ranchers by supplying them with police to protect them during clearing operations.

The question of whether a development program is proper or appropriate is one of the facets of the issue. In pursuit of development, as illustrated in the movie, the Brazilian government opened its country to foreign investors – most of which, coupled with local ranchers,...
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