Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

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For centuries, deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has become a globally paramount issue. The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest with a length over 7,413,827 km2 across Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The Amazon consists of four layers, emergent, upper canopy, understory, and forest floor each one with its own ecosystems and specially adapted plants and animals. According to National Geography the Emergent is the highest level with gigantic trees that reach the sky which lead to the Canopy Layer. The Upper Canopy is a life sustaining layer with food and forms a roof that blocks most ultra-violet rays from reaching below it to protect animals and plants. The Understory usually shaded and where bushes and shrubs are found which provides camouflage. The forest floor is where the light can’t go through and for that reason plants can’t easily growth which make it is easy to walk through the forest. Although rain forests play a crucial role in sustaining life covering 6% of the earth’s land and producing 40% of oxygen; every year colossal portions of trees are cut down. The Amazon Rainforest gets its life from the Amazon River, the world’s second largest river with approximately 219,000 cubic meters per second that represents 15-16% of the world’s total river discharge into the oceans. Even though there is much that remains unknown to scientists about Amazonia; scientists’ explorers have made significant contributions with spectacular researches about the Amazon that help to increase our knowledge of what constitutes one of the largest rainforests in the earth (National Geography, 2016)

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People have inhabited the Amazon for over 11,000 years and in the last 50 years humankind with rapid regional economic growth, increasing energy demands, and unsustainable agriculture business, market trends has caused the destruction of at least 17% of the Amazon rainforest (WWF, 2016) The Amazon rainforest has existed for at least 55 million years and it is the outcome of geological, hydrographic, geomorphological, climatological and biological process. Bolivia and Peru have a medium influence between 65 and 75 per cent of their national territory is composed of the Amazon Basin. Ecuador and Brazil half of their territory is composed by the Amazon and Colombia 30 per cent as Venezuela and Guayana have 5 per cent. Therefore, Brazil accounts for 67.9 per cent of Amazonia, followed by Bolivia with 9.8 per cent, Peru with 8.8 per cent, Colombia with 6.4 per cent, Guayana with 2.9 per cent, Suriname with 1.9 per cent and Venezuela with 0.7 per cent which represents 54 per cent of the total area of these eight countries (Tigre, 2017). This author stated that based on data Brazil accounts with the higher portion of Amazonia’s territory.

The Amazon accounts between one-third and one-half of the world’s remaining tropical forest land ( Docksai, 2013) Hence, the Amazon is a significant source for our society to survive as Chico Mendes, the Brazilian activist expressed in his own words At first, I thought I was fighting to save rubber tress. Then, I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforests. Now, I realize I am fighting for humanity for which this investigation is based on three major premises caused by the population increase that augment the demand of territories and resources which lead to the destruction of natural lands as it is the Amazon rainforest.

As the population increase, the need for more space where to live increase which lead to the destruction of the rainforest that leave tribes without their habitat.

As the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest increase the biodiversity decrease due to fact that the Amazon sustains the world’s richest biodiversity.

As deforestation continue to increase the rising of global CO2 concentrations increase causing climate changes.

Amazon is the substantial deforestation front in the world and interventions are critical needed to prevent an irreversible ecological disaster. The area under protection in the Amazon was astounding with 390 protected areas which represented 25 per cent of the Amazon Biome by 2013. Securing indigenous peoples’ rights to their ancestral lands is the primary role of indigenous territories but they have also proven to be effective in conserving forests; it could be concluded that indigenous territories and protected areas are crucial to conserve ecosystems for people and the planet (Hill, 2017). In 2010, there were more than 3,000 indigenous territories covering a total of 208 million hectares which represented 31% of the Amazon. According to WWF’s their goal is to protected areas and indigenous territories to achieve an integration of them into the region’s development by 2020 as it also estimates that if the current rate of deforestation maintains the same rate by 2030 the 27 per cent of the Amazon biome will be without trees. This author disagrees with the argument stated by WWF respected to the integration of indigenous people to modern society because the idea of forcing individuals to evolve at the same time modern society does is immoral and even it can be said that it is incoherent that people always is fighting for their rights but these indigenous societies can’t obtain the right to speak for themselves. Brazil’s deforestation rate had reached a disturb number of 27,000 square kilometers; almost 17,000 square miles per year and continues to increase every year (WWF Global).

Native tribes have made protests to convince the government and fought for their land to secure their rights since the forest is home to approximately 7,000 Kayapo Indians and, to the south, another 5,500 Indians from 14 different groups (Barbara Zimmer, 2013). Notable dissimilarities can be found in the percentage of Amazonian gross deforestation that exist between forests located inside Indigenous Territories (IT) and Protected Natural Areas (PNA). The total amount deforestation found inside Indigenous Territories drop from 9,195 km2 between the 2000- 2005 to 6,586 km2 and with a reduction of 28.4% between the 2010- 2015. However, as Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador decrease and French Guyana and Venezuela increase; the gross deforestation in Indigenous Territories without legal recognition also increased with more than 50% from 976km2 in the 2000-2005 interval to 1,501 km2 in the 2010-2015 (Indigenous Organizations, 2017)

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Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. (2019, Dec 12). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from
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