Amazon Rainforest Conservation through Development of Indigenous Peoples
Today, the Amazon Rainforest is a very different place than it was when the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana first navigated through its river in 1542. The forest has been around for 55 million years on the South American continent (e.g. Maslin et al. 2005) but through decades of deforestation, climate change, agriculture, and population growth, the Amazon Rainforest is facing a point of destruction. In Brazil, at the rate of deforestation of 20,000 km2/ year, the entire Legal Amazonia of Brazil will be gone in 200 years (e.g. Andersen et al. 2007). If we continue to overuse and abuse the Amazon, we are going to lose a natural wonder that not only inhabits a vast majority of biodiversity and natural resource, but also a global climate stabilizer. We all have stakes in this global tragedy, but there are arguments over the best mean to conserve the Amazon Rainforest. In this paper, I will argue that best ethical means to conserve and protect the rainforests is through the development of the Indigenous people of the Amazon based on an ethics of Consequentialism, Utilitarianism, and an ethics of duty. In this paper, I will attempt to use ethical theories as support for developing the indigenous people of the Amazon in order to conserve the rainforests along with examples of present projects which have proven successful in this type of development.
When it comes to the conservation of the Amazon, it makes sense that the people who must play a great role in this project is the people who have lived in these forest since the arrival of the first humans to the Americas 16,000 to 20,000 years ago (Bonatto and Salzano 1996). The people of the Amazon have relied on the forest for food, medicine, and resources for thousands of years before the colonization by Europeans in the 1500’s. The natives of the Amazons revere the forests and the animals it contains. If any group of people is more...
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