rainforest

The Amazon

All over the world there are eco-systems that are homes to a wide number of animal and flora species but none are as vast and as versatile as the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. Although the Amazon is situated mainly in Brazil, there are eight other nations that boarder the Amazon Basin: Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

The Amazon has nearly one third of the planet’s biodiversity, discharges one fourth of the Earth’s freshwater and plays a major role in the changes in worldwide atmospheric climate.

Unfortunately, there are some that do not recognize its importance to the earth’s being and for the past 40 years has been infringed upon by clearing the forest for farms, ranches and general development. According to mongabay.com, between May 2000 and August 2005, 132,000 square kilometers of forest, a larger area than Greece, have been destroyed.

There are many species of flora that have not been thoroughly studied as to their potential medical benefits to society and if the forest is cut down, we may never know them. And there are many more to be discovered.  They might just hold the cure for one or more diseases that plague humanity.

There are a number of organizations that help in the education of local farmers, ranchers and loggers on how to maintain their occupations but in a more sustainable way. Illegal loggers are a major problem and have to be stopped in their deforestation methods by not buying their lumber that is shipped all around the world mainly for the productions of paper goods.

The indigenous people are shown how to stay within the already established regulations that are in place to protect the forest. Setting fir to the land to clear it is not a good environmental method that expels CO2 gases and soot irritating climate change.

The development of hydro electric plants, oil drilling, pipe lines, dams, power lines might all be good for the development of the area however it has to be planned and executed in conjunction with the environment that surrounds these projects. The building of roads to access these developments have to be built with the least environmental impact.

Projects are under way to maximize the yield of already cleared land by increasing the variety and volume of crops that are grown by the use of improved farming technologies thus avoiding additional deforestation.

It is an ongoing project that has to be maintained by education and enforcement of existing and new regulations so the most expansive eco-system on earth can keep yielding its treasures for a healthier earth. You can help by your contribution to the number of organizations dedicated to the Amazon preservation.

Dennis Machicao