How Is the Amazon Rainforest Seen As a Resource - the Arguments For and Against Deforestation

Brazil is a rapidly growing population which leaves the Amazon rainforest under threat, and an increasing demand by that population for its natural resources - How Is the Amazon Rainforest Seen As a Resource - the Arguments For and Against Deforestation introduction. The main uses of the rainforest ecosystem include:

* Shifting cultivation by Amerindians

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More Essay Examples on Physical Geography Rubric

* Ranching to provide beef for fast food companies in MEDCs

* Mining to extract raw materials such as copper and iron ore

* Logging to export high quality hardwood timber

* Plantations to grow cash crops for export

* Government policy to provide land for dispossessed Brazilians

People might argue about the development of the Amazon. Some say it is economically wise whereas others say it is a global mistake. Developing the Amazon has advantages towards the people and economy of Brazil. Brazil currently owes a huge debt and locating new businesses is very essential. The employment the development will make will provide jobs and adequate shelter for the people. It will also cover some of the debt. The Amazon is rich in vegetation and minerals.

THE ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST DEFORESTATION

Arguments FOR:

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, RANCH OWNER

I own a large cattle ranch in the province of Rondonia. There is a great demand in the USA for beef products and I have a lucrative contract with an American fast food chain. I employ several hundred ranch hands and other workers bring money and jobs to people that need both. The only useful rainforest in my opinion is one that has been cleared. There is more than enough rainforest to go round and my ranch is tiny compared to the size of the Amazon rainforest. If people want cheap burgers they’ve got to have cheap beef. By clearing virgin forest I get cheap land and I can supply beef cheaper than any ranchers in the USA.

MR DA SILVA, FOREMAN AND LUMBERJACK FOR AN INTERNATIONAL LOGGING COMPANY

My job is to supervise a team of lumberjacks in felling hardwoods for export. The Amazon rainforest has the richest supply of trees in the world and timber from many of these trees is in great demand from rich countries. Logging is the second largest cause of deforestation. It is a tough job often we have to fell trees we don’t want to get to the valuable ones we do.

I have no problem with what I do. The trees will grow back and if not, well at least it brings money and jobs to Brazil. I get really annoyed by do-gooders telling lies about how all this will change the world’s climate and so on. The rainforest belongs to the Brazilian people and it is up to us to decide what to do with it. Anyhow it’s alright to whinge if you have lots of money and plenty to eat.

Arguments AGAINST:

A TUKANO INDIAN

We live in Northwest Brazil and like other Amerindian tribes have lived in Amazonia for thousands of years. We live in large communal houses called malocas and exist entirely from and in the rainforest. We are shifting cultivators and depend on the rainforest for all our needs. We clear an area of forest and farm it for about 5 years. Then we move on leaving it to rest and recover its fertility.

In recent years outsiders have begun to destroy our forest and steal its riches. We have been forced deeper into the forest. Others have been made to live on reservations and to give up their traditional way of life. 96% of our people have been killed since their first contact with Europeans -most recently developers have killed other Amerindians to force them to give up their land. We want outsiders to leave our forest and to stop destroying it. They only take from the forest -but we are part of the forest ecosystem and take no more out than we put in.

JOHN SMITH, A BRITISH CONSERVATIONIST WORKING FOR GREEN PEACE INTERNATIONAL

As far as my organisation is concerned there is no argument. This is a global environmental issue. The Amazon rainforest belongs to the whole world and its destruction will affect everyone.

Protecting the rainforest ecosystem from multinational companies, the Brazilian government and millions of local people is vital if we are to maintain the well being of the planet. This is not about money – it is about handing over a better world to future generations. The destruction of the rainforest will affect the world’s climate and destroy the richest store of plants and animals on earth. We cannot allow this to happen.

The car industry is one of the largest leading industries today and providing resources for such an income earner is very essential for Brazil at the current moment. The iron ore being extracted in the Amazon is a necessity to strengthening of the economy of Brazil.

The mining industry is very valued. The minerals can be sold and the money gained from it can help cover the huge debt Brazil owes. Not many countries or areas can mine ores that are valuable so there is not that much of competition in trade selling price. Industry is a very good solution for developing the economy of Brazil but it does not have to destroy or harm the environment.

The saddest part of this situation is that the poor just get poorer and the rich just get richer. They are forced to live in shanty towns, which are growing rapidly on the outskirts of the Amazon. There is no point in carrying a huge economic project if the local people or the poor do not get any aid.

Oxygen is the life giver and without it we would all die. The Amazon is a contributor of this vital resource and it would be wise to keep it untouched and natural. It does not only supply us with a third of the world’s oxygen but also a quarter of the world’s fresh water is stored in the basin there. We cannot afford to lose these two resources. But they would be lost if we encourage destruction of the rainforest.

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