A Look Into Amazonia Tropical Rainforest

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A Look Into Amazonia
Tropical Deforestation
Ross Pysh
Susan Johnson
Rachel Ross
Outline
Hypothesis
Deforestation and Biodiversity
Climate Change and the Global Carbon
Cycle
Social and Political Aspects
Possible Solutions
Conclusion
Hypothesis
The destruction of the tropical
rainforests, predominately in
Amazonia, will substantially affect the
biodiversity of the area and will alter
various trends in the global carbon
cycle. The extent and time scale of
tropical rainforest destruction will
depend on the social and political
decisions governing the system and
we believe potential solutions are not
out of reach.
Deforestation
150 acres of rainforest are lost every
minute, vanishing at a rate of nearly
20,000 square miles a
year. (Taylor)
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/images/0409-02.jpg
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety and
variability of living organisms and the
ecological complexes in which they
occur. (Allen)
Today, tropical forests cover about
7% of the earth’s surface, but are
thought to contain 50% of the world’s
biodiversity. (Kling)
Fragmentation
“Species and ecosystems
are threatened with
destruction to an extent
rarely seen in earths
history” (Allen)
http://books.nap.edu/books/0309037395/html/20.htm
l
Much of this extinction
Is caused by habitat loss
and one culprit is
fragmentation.
Value of Biodiversity
One acre of land-Sustainably
harvested yields
$2400.
-Cut for lumber earns
$400
-Raising cattle on the
land $60.
(Taylor)
http://www.rainforestandreef.org/images/photos/peru_low/rainforest_square_250.jpg
-265,000 species of plants in the
tropical forests
-Only 3% have been tested for
medicinal value.
-Of this 3%, 25% of the medicines we
have available to us today have been
derived.
(Taylor)
Climate Change
Deforestation
of the
rainforest
affects the
global carbon
cycle which is
ultimately
contributing to
global
warming.
(Kling Lectures)
(Kling Lectures)
Stella Model
– Global
Change 1
(Lab 13)
Why
is Bad
Cutting - 5,102,945,952 years
Cutting and Burning- 5,098, 627.787
years
Respiration!
The difference- 5,097,847,324 years.
Nutrient and Water Cycles
• Slash and Burn is extremely
damaging to these cycles.
• Most of the Nutrients in Tropical
Rainforests are within the biomass.
• Runoff removes nutrients from the
system.
Social Aspects
• The greatest cause of tropical rainforest
destruction today comes from human
activities (60%), which unlike natural
damage, are unrelenting and extremely
thorough. (Mongabay)
• Landless peasants are forced to inhabit
the only free land available: the forest,
because of a monopoly of productive land
in the south. (ROA)
Social Policies
• Very easy to acquire land rights.
Squatters gain rights by using the land
for only a year and a day. (Mongabay)
• After 5 years of land use the squatter
gains ownership of the land and up until
the mid 90’s ownership was granted to a
plot of land 3 times what was actually
cleared by the user. (Mongabay)
Political Aspects
• Debt is a major driving force behind
deforestation. (Mongabay)
• Government subsidies and tax incentives
offered to people to develop land. (ROA)
• Don’t have the money to implement and
enforce environmental policies. IBAMA
Brazil’s environmental protection agency
was only given 9.5 million to police the
biggest expanse of tropical wilderness in
the world. (Mongabay)
Political cont…
• The government has strong alliances
with the powerful elites, with no tradition
of opposing influential economic
interests. (Moran)
• Government projects like the Trans
Amazonian Highway opens the forest up
to peasant settlement by offering a lot of
incentives and grants easy access to its
resources. (Mongabay)
• Bulk of subsidized credit in Brazil goes
toward the development of large scale
properties. (Moran)
Potential Solutions
Aide from developed nations-.04% of the GDP (6-8 billion dollars)
of industrialized countries goes
towards conservation related
activities. (Tobey)
-The same countries spend 125 billion
dollars a year on their militaries.
(Cunningham)
Conclusions
There are many possible solutions
that could be implemented in the
Amazon but all take a lot of effort and
capital from both the developed and
developing countries.
Social and political aspects are the
major players in this situation and the
first step to curving deforestation is to
address these.
References
•
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•
•
•
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Allen, David. 2005. Threats to Global Biodiversity. Global Change II
Lectures. University of Michigan.
Cunningham, William and Mary and Barbara Saigo. 2005. Environmental
Science A Global Concern. McGraw-Hill. New York.
http://www.rainforestandreef.org/images/photos/peru_low/rainforest_squa
re_250.jpg
http://books.nap.edu/books/0309037395/html/20.html
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/images/0409-02.jpg
Kling, George. 2004. Tropical Forests. Global Change I Lectures.
University of Michigan.
Mongabay. http://rainforest.mongabay.com/amazon/20brazil.htm
Moran, Emilio. 1999. The Law, Politics, and Economics of Amazon
Deforestation.
http://www.ecotourism.org.hk/other%20files/Amazonian%20deforestation.
doc
(ROA) The Rape of the Amazon.
http://homepage.mac.com/voyager/gta/amaz.html
Taylor, Joy and Wayne Stuppel. 2004. Amazon Rainforest – More
Valuable Alive than Dead. Appropriate Technology. Vol. 31. Iss. 1; p. 40.
Tobey, James. 1993. Toward a Global Effort to Protect the Earth’s
Biological Diversity. World Development. Vol. 21. No. 12. pp. 1931-1945.
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