The Amazon

A In this article I will talk about The Amazon (Amazonia), more specifically the Brazilian Rainforest. I will go over the importances of the rainforest, what good we are doing to the rainforest and what bad we are doing to the rainforest. I will tell you about the rainforest and tell you why it is a very valuable resource. I will tell you how it is being exploited in debt and the effect of the different ways in which we are exploiting the rainforest. I will also inform you what other people around the world are doing and what are the opinions of different groups of people including myself on these developments.The rainforest is a forest first of all, The Brazilian rainforest is in Brazil but it is part of the rainforest called The Amazon (Amazonia). The Amazon rainforest is located in the upper section north of Brazil, stretching from the east coast of Brazil to the hills of Andes (Peru); it covers billions of acres about 8 million square kilometres. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60 percent of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13 percent of the rainforest, and with minor amounts in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.The rainforests all over the world stretch across The Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The rainforest covers about 14% of the world land area but unfortunately it has been reduced to 6% due to exploitation and deforestation is the biggest problem, it still contains an estimated 50% of the world’s plants and animals. It is a store of the earth’s ecological biodiversity. There is approximately 1.4 million named species on earth; scientists estimate there might be as many as 80 million different organisms on the planet, of which 60% are insects.The rainforest has evolved over millions of years to turn into the incredibly complex environment that it is today, it has had 90 million years to adapt to it environment. The rainforest is the most bio diverse place on Earth, consisting of more than 56,000 described species of plants. At least 3000 fruits are found in the rainforests; of these only 200 are now in use in the Western World. The Indians of the rainforest use over 2,000. At least 80% of the developed world’s diet originated in the tropical rainforest. Its bountiful gifts to the world include fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and tomatoes; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, turmeric, coffee and vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews.There’s also a lot of species of animals that are found in the rainforest. Spectacularly there are an estimated 15,000 different kinds of Brazilian Amazon animals, 1,700 species of birds, 695 amphibians, 578 mammals, and 651 reptiles. Here are some: The Anaconda Snake, Jaguar, Manatee, Tapir, The Tucuxi and the Boto Dolphin (the River Dolphin), The Vampire Bat.B The rainforest is such a valuable resource to us. It provides us a lot and it does a lot for us. It provides us with food, and a lot of food which is under high demands all over the world, for example many of these delicious foods originally came from the rainforest bananas, pineapples, oranges, lemons, coconuts, cashews, peanuts, corn, rice, avocados, onions, tomatoes, peppers, ginger, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, and even kola nut (which is used to flavour cola drinks).The rainforest is a vital source for medicines; a quarter of all modern medicines came originally from rainforests. Most were first discovered and used by indigenous people. Over 2000 plants only found in the tropical rainforest have been identified as having anti-cancer properties. Curare, quinine (from cinchona tree bark) obtained from Amazon rainforest plants, are used in medical surgery and to treat malaria. These extracts can be used directly as drugs.Pinon Colorado has can help things such as insect bites and stings, vaginal infections, and bronchitis, Mangos teen is used to cure dysentery, and it is discovered that rosy periwinkle has anti-tumour properties, Emetine is used for treatment for cancer and Andiroba treats cattle parasites. Copaiba is used in cosmetic treatment, Pataua is used in cooking oil, Ipecacuanha is used for treatment of whooping cough and Jaborondi is affective against glaucoma. Aspirin as everyone uses for headaches, pains and fevers includes the powder that comes from the bark and leaves of a willow tree. Yet only 1 percent of the known plant and animal species have been thoroughly examined for their medicinal potentials.The rainforest also provides us with raw materials such and fuel. It provides us with rubber that comes from rubber trees which is originated in the Amazon. It is gained by a process called rubber tapping. Sugar cane, which also came from rainforests, is already used to produce fuel for cars in Brazil. The sap of one Amazonia tree, the Copaifera, is so like diesel that it can be put straight into a trucks fuel tank, and Pataua is used to produce cooking oil, the fibres of the liana plant can be used in the textile industry.The rainforest is also the result of the climate, because it acts as a mechanism, removing the excess Carbon Dioxide produced and gives out Oxygen. Carbon Dioxide causes the earth’s atmosphere to heat up and when the rainforest get rid of the excess Carbon Dioxide this mean global warming is in check and there are no serious climatic problems. The forest also influences the weather and climate. The rainforest keeps the earth’s climate wet, due to the hydrological cycle, in the rainforest it rains heavily and a lot of evaporation and condensation takes place.C the rainforest is being exploited at a very fast rate, which is leading to a worse state and a bad future for the rainforest. First of all the Europeans have colonised the coastal areas of the rainforest so it cannot develop. Cattle ranching and logging has made u huge impact on the rainforest. Over 25% of the forest is cleared used for large-scale cattle ranching; during these cattle ranching the forest is cut down and burned and grass grow on the cleared land.Most of these cattle are reared for the mass production of cheap beef. Logging is causing the rainforest land to be cleared as well, thousand of loggers cut down trees for timber. Valuable hardwoods such as mahogany and teak are sold for export, bringing Brazil millions of dollars. Other timber is pulped for paper production. The Amazon rainforest has developed above a rich base of mineral resources. The minerals are exported to other countries. Vast areas have been cleared to gain access to these reserves. The rainforest has a lot of iron ore, and it also has gold platinum, copper, lead and bauxite for aluminium.The resettlement of people from other parts of Brazil has over populated parts of Brazil. Poor farmers are encouraged to settle in Amazonia and land is cleared for these small farms. When these farmers move in to the rainforest they use the land to grow food for their families and move on to new plots when the soils fertility declines. There are millions of animals that have been sold to dealers; animals such as jaguars’ snakes and alligators are hunted for furs and skins. An estimated 12 million animals are smuggled out of the rainforest each year giving dealers $1.5 billion. Road building has cleared a lot of to build road that were meant to develop the rainforest but they are used to export the ores and trees.D the effects of the exploitations are striking the rainforest severely. Firstly the indigenous people who have been living there have lost their homes and belonging. The indigenous people have faced conflict and problems from miners, ranchers, loggers and other developers, (new colonisers). The indigenous people have lost the resources that they need to survive and they also have to compete with new comers for food. Also when the Europeans come the indigenous people have no immunity to measles and flu and are consequently dieing and will if these diseases are still being passed on. The river is polluted with mercury and cadium from gold prospecting. Mercury and cadium cause deformity in unborn babies and death.If we keep clearing the forest the way we still are we are losing a lot. If we keep clearing we are losing plants which may have cures for HIV / AIDS. For example Curare is used to treat malaria. The Amazon has over 56,000 described different species of plant. The soil is being eroded as well due to heavy rain. Before the canopy trees used to intercept the heavy convectional rainfall. And also the trees roots help to bind the soil together and to reduce through flow. Without the trees there is increased surface run-off, which causes both erosion and more severe frequent flooding. Many birds, insects, reptiles and animals rely upon trees for food and shelter.They die or are forced to move away if their habitat is destroyed. The mass clearance of the trees in the rainforest has affected the climate worldwide. Because if the trees are not there to take in the carbon dioxide that is produced then the amount of the carbon dioxide will increase in the earth’s atmosphere. This carbon dioxide causes the heat that we get from the sun to be trapped in the earths atmosphere, and this causes the ice caps to melt. When these ice caps melt sea levels rise, when the sea levels raise then various parts of the world are flooded.

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