I am a member of the Brazilian Government and we believe that large scale development should be allowed in the Amazon rainforest and I am going to give you our reasons in this speech.
Firstly we know that the tourism industry is one of the country's biggest employers, involving one in every eleven workers. It contributes an estimated 8 percent to the country's GDP. In the rainforest quite a substantial amount of developments will be to do with tourism therefore making the industry even greater. Also the tribes that live in the rainforest are self dependant but they sometimes will need to buy things such as medicine or materials so they could be employed as guides and would have some money for these purposes.
My second argument is we have a large debt to other countries which totals up to $ 219,800,000,000 we cannot afford to repay this huge sum of money without selling the land in the Amazon to mining companies for example who will pay a lot of money for it.
Our third view is that the shanty towns in our larger cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo are growing and their residents lack basic facilities, such as running water and electricity. One thing we can do is build a hydro electric dam, in the Amazon, which would provide much cheaper and more environmentally friendly electricity for these people. Once the dam is built the energy is virtually free meaning that if we sell the area to a company and they build the dam the electricity will cost very little or if we build it ourselves it will be free electricity for the people.
Finally I would like to point out that the unemployment rate in our country is 9.9%, which is around 1 in every 10 people that do not have a job. If we allowed large scale development in the rainforest then there would be a lot more jobs made, resulting in a lot less people living in poverty or very poor conditions. At the moment 30% of Brazilians (54 million out of 180 million) live below the poverty line, which itself is drawn quite low. Over 22% live on less than two dollars a day.
I do realise that other groups may have other feelings and disagree with what I have to say. For example the conservationists who believe the rainforest needs to be maintained for the benefit of the world’s climate. More than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest and it contains more than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants. However, ladies and gentlemen I hope you can see that the countries that we owe money to want us to keep our rainforest because they’ve already cut down their forests and trees. Our job is to do what’s best for our people, as those other countries did by industrialization. If the rest of the world wants us to keep our rainforest then the must help our economic growth for example they could cancel our debt.