The Amazon Rainforest is considered “the lungs of planet Earth”, because it produces about 20% of the necessary oxygen for life maintaining. It’s the biggest forest on Earth, it’s crossed by long rivers and it hosts huge flora and fauna biodiversity. In this zone there is one of the longest rivers in the world, the Amazon, which runs over more than 5 countries in South America.
This territory hosts almost 30% of the world species, but some of them are threatened by human intervention. Since 1960s everybody has been able to enter the Amazon rainforest , but year by year people exploited the enormous resources that the place offers by deforesting , building and, consequently, deteriorating the health of this place and the health of the whole world.
Everybody knows that the deforestation of the Amazon forest is “hot topic” because human kind is supposed to be very careful managing it. Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest grew steadily between 1991 and 2004, reaching an annual forest loss rate of 27,423 km² in 2004. Although the deforestation rate slowed down in 2004 (with re-accelerations between 2008 and 2013), the forest area continues to decline.
But, what are the reasons, what is the need for such constant deforesting? The reasons are many but insufficient to justify the damages (already done) to this wonderful place and to the whole planet. However, according to many articles and scholars’ opinions the most probable reasons are:
1. To build a highway that pass through the forest. The highway was intended to integrate these regions with the rest of the country, connecting Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Anyway, after the highway inauguration those plans were modified.
2. Amazon rainforest is seen as a resource for livestock pasture, precious woods, space, agriculture (especially soybeans) and medicines.
Fortunately, as we already mentioned, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has been declining since 2004. There are a variety of reasons for the decline, including economic trends, new protected areas and indigenous territories, improved law enforcement, deforestation monitoring via satellite, pressure from environmental groups, and private sector initiatives.
Now we think, any sensible person thinks, that we must face this issue immediately, otherwise it can be too late because our green “lungs” have become more and more tired.
DID YOU KNOW THAT …?
Around 80% of the food we eat every day, originally comes from rainforests. Some of the more popular examples include coffee, chocolate, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, black pepper, pineapples and corn. Is this enough to decide to save it?
Tropical rainforests only cover about 6% of the Earth’s surface, but they are the natural habitat of more than half the world’s total plant and animal species.
The forest floor is almost completely “black”, with less than 1% of the available sunlight.
There are around 3,000 species of fruits in rainforests, and in the west we make use of around 200 of them. However, indigenous tribes make use of over 2,000.
Continuing with such a deforestation rate, we’d created the most rapid extinction rate in the history of the world. As a matter of fact, 137 rainforest species are completely exterminated every day.
Over a quarter of the medicines we use today have their origins in the rainforests. Let’s consider that just about 1% of rainforest plants have been examined for their medicinal properties. Imagine what else could be there and how many cures we could find!
If deforestation continues, we’ll lose the rainforests within the next 40 years.
FRANCESCO & NICOLÒ