Deforestation in the Amazon Economic and social forces are battling over the future of the Amazonian rainforest What are the Effects? and the left-leaning government of Brazil is struggling to balance a desire for "sustainable development" with domestic and international demands for economic growth. But what does this really mean for the people of Brazil?Read through the information presented on thispage. You should use four colours when reading Once you’ve read all Politically, there are international disagreements on how the Amazon should be used – most countries are putting pressure on Brazil to conserve all of thethe information presented to pick out somespecific information: the statements, remaining forest and not ‘exploit’ it to make money (from wooden exports and theIn ______ highlight the social effects ofdeforestation of the Amazon attempt the tasks land). Some people, particularly Brazilian businesses, however, are putting pressure on their own government to let them use the rainforest resources to makeIn ______ highlight the economic effects of and challenges on money. Their main argument for this is that the money produced can be used todeforestation of the AmazonIn ______ highlight the environmental effects of the right of this help develop the country in other areas – not just the economy – improving education, health care and the general standard of living for the people of Brazil.deforestation of the AmazonIn ______ highlight the political effects of page… There are also political disputes over who owns some of the land – indigenousdeforestation of the Amazon tribes, businesses or the Brazilian government themselves. When Europeans arrived to the north east of Brazil about 500 years ago, there were Write a report for the Prime Minister of Brazil on the Problems about 6 million of my people subsisting off the Amazon rainforest. Today, our numbers associated with the Amazon. You should aim to specifically discuss the are about 200,000 and decreasing every year. Not only is this because we are social, economic, environmental and political problems associated with losing our natural homes and environment within which we are used to living, we are exploitation of the Tropical Rainforest. Can you suggest any solutions for the Prime Minister to consider? also losing our traditional culture and way of life. Young people in the tribes also don’t want to identify with their traditional culture anymore and, instead, go to seek ____________________________________________________________________ their fortune in the big cities and towns such as Belem. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ My people still live in the Amazon, but some other tribes such as the Kayapo have ____________________________________________________________________ been forced to live on reservations. Some of these don’t have good living conditions ____________________________________________________________________ and, in previous decades, the spread of diseases amongst such people has been ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ devastating. ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Can you remember how bio-diverse the rainforest is? Over half of ____________________________________________________________________ the plants known species are found in tropical rainforests – with ____________________________________________________________________ 10km² of rainforest containing as many as 1500 species of flowering ____________________________________________________________________ plant, 750 species of tree, 400 species of bird, 150 varieties of ____________________________________________________________________ butterfly, 100 different reptiles & 60 different amphibians. Many ____________________________________________________________________ species still have to be identified and discovered – 99% of the world’s ____________________________________________________________________ insects live here! Deforestation has obviously destroyed the habitats ____________________________________________________________________ of many of these species. However, have you thought about the value that some of these species might hold? We already get over ____________________________________________________________________ half of our medicines from discoveries made in the tropical ____________________________________________________________________ rainforest – one of these recently found, derived from a periwinkle, ____________________________________________________________________ has reduced deaths from child leukaemia from 80% to approximately ____________________________________________________________________ 20%. Yet if we continue to cut down the rainforest, what might ____________________________________________________________________ happen to some of the as-yet undiscovered chemicals and medicines ____________________________________________________________________ that are still waiting to be ‘found’? ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ We know that forestry companies cut paths and ____________________________________________________________________ build roads to access deforestation sites – but the ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ machines are not the only ones migrating to the ____________________________________________________________________ Amazon rainforest – people are too. Logging ____________________________________________________________________ companies are opening the way for migrant ____________________________________________________________________ settlers in the forest. Settlers then clear land for ____________________________________________________________________ agriculture – usually by burning – and intensive Possible improvements: ________________________________________________ ‘slash and burn’ quickly makes the soil infertile. ____________________________________________________________________ These new settlers also bring differences in culture ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ to the area – and this can lead to social conflict ____________________________________________________________________ and political disputes with the indigenous tribes.