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Limit Deforestation in the Amazon Rain-Forest.

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Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest started back in 1960, when the Brazilian government encouraged families to take up small-scale farming in the rainforest, and offered incentive for businesses to take up cattle ranching. Ten years later, the Brazilian government started a highway project, and loggers, farmers, ranchers, and miners began to move in to take up jobs in the Amazon. In 1978, eight countries signed an agreement to promote economic development in the forest. With more development in the Amazon, populations increased greatly - all the way to twenty million people.  More recently, much of the deforestation in the Amazon has been for cattle ranching, and soybean production has also become a huge financial benefit for countries that contain the Amazon. Cattle ranching and soybean production have boosted the Brazilian economy greatly, and helped to pay off their debt. However, biodiversity reserves have also been set up in recent years to protect the rainforest, and laws have been passed to encourage sustainable agriculture, prevent species loss and erosion, and help stop illegal logging in the forest. Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest should not be allowed, due to its negative impact on climate change, negative impact on the amount of biodiversity in the rainforest, and the fact that much of the deforestation is illegal and rules with deforestation are not strictly enforced.

Deforestation in the Amazon has severe negative impacts on climate change. In the article, "Global Impact of Amazon Deforestation", it states, “The researcher’s simulations showed that Amazon deforestation would likely produce dry air that might move over the western United States from December to February, producing a climate pattern similar to an El Niño.  During the winter months, southern California would experience a large amount of precipitation, while the Pacific Northwest would dry out.” If deforestation in the Amazon continues to occur like it does now in the future, it will not just affect the rainforest itself; it will also lead directly to climate change complications in the U.S., so we will suffer the direct consequences of it, and be faced with the hardships that come from it. In the National Geographic article, "Last of The Amazon", it says, “Scientists fear that an additional 20 percent of the trees will be lost over the next two decades. If that happens, the forest's ecology will begin to unravel. Intact, the Amazon produces half its own rainfall through the moisture it releases into the atmosphere. Eliminate enough of that rain through clearing, and the remaining trees dry out and die. When desiccation is worsened by global warming, severe droughts raise the specter of wildfires that could ravage the forest…. Meanwhile, because trees are wantonly burned to create open land in the frontier states of Pará, Mato Grosso, Acre, and Rondônia, Brazil has become one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases. The danger signs are undeniable.” Climate change is a problem we face in today’s world, and deforestation with the cutting down of trees leads to worsened climate change, and we can not deny that by continuing the deforestation currently occurring, climate change is significantly getting worse. This is an important thing to realize because climate change and deforestation are directly connected, and if we want to avoid climate change and keep it from getting worse, we need to stop deforestation and recognize the problems it causes while it still occurs.

Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest and of rainforests everywhere decreases biodiversity levels and threatens the biodiversity that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet. On the “World Wildlife Fund” website, in the article titled “Deforestation:Threats,” it states, “About 80% of the world’s documented species can be found in tropical rainforests—some of the forests most vulnerable to deforestation. When species lose their forest homes, they are often unable to subsist in the small fragments of forested land left behind. They become more accessible to hunters and poachers, their numbers begin to dwindle and some eventually go extinct.” When deforestation occurs in large amounts, and when too much forest is cut down, animals living in those forests are impacted greatly, and it leads to some of these species going extinct when they lose too much habitat;  so this species loss is directly caused by deforestation. On “Cambridge University’s” website, in the article explaining their recent study on species loss caused by deforestation, it states; “Unless urgent action is taken to stem deforestation in key areas that are heading towards or have just dipped below the forest cover ‘threshold’ – which, according to the research team’s models, amounts to a third of the Amazon – these areas will suffer the loss of between 31-44% of species by just 2030.” Studies have proved that there is a certain “threshold” where species loss accelerates. This threshold is explained as; when the amount of forest cover, or tree cover in an area drops below 43%, the amount of species that are lost in that area increases, and right now around a third of the Amazon is at a point at or below this threshold, and will lose around 31-44% of its biodiversity in less than 15 years, because deforestation has caused species to not be able to live. This is significant because as deforestation increases, it is important to know that not only trees are lost, but biodiversity is lost too, and without immediate help, there will be severe impacts we can not take back as species become extinct.

Most of the deforestation that occurs in the Amazon Rainforest is illegal, and laws to protect the forest are hardly enforced. In a National Geographic article, "Farming the Amazon,” it states, “All of it starts with a road. Except for a handful of federal and state highways—including the east-west Trans-amazon Highway and the controversial BR-163, the "soy highway," … nearly every road in the Amazon is unauthorized. There are more than 105,000 miles (170,000 kilometers) of these roads, most made illegally by loggers to reach mahogany and other hardwoods for the lucrative export market.” In the Amazon Rainforest, a large number of the roads that are in place are illegally made for the purpose of getting to new areas of the Amazon and cutting down trees for business. The deforestation is occurring to give people jobs, and it has taken off and become an illegal business for many groups, leading to more deforestation and more negative impacts on the environment. In the National Geographic article, "Farming the Amazon", it states, “In Brazil, the events set in motion by logging are almost always more destructive than the logging itself. Once the trees are extracted and the loggers have moved on, the roads serve as conduits for an explosive mix of squatters, speculators, ranchers, farmers, and invariably, hired gunmen. The land sharks follow the roads deep into previously impenetrable forest, then destroy tracts to make it look as if they own them. Land thievery is committed through corruption, strong-arm tactics, and fraudulent titles and is so widespread that Brazilians have a name for it: grigalem,...” Deforestation is not only harmful to the environment, but it is also illegal, and while it has become obvious, nothing is stopping these illegal practices, and nothing is enforcing rules and regulations to protect the forest. Not only is deforestation harmful to the environment, but it should not be allowed because it has become an illegal practice. This is significant because deforestation affects climate change and species, and it also does so in a highly illegal way, which is not something we can put aside. People deforesting the Amazon are doing it illegally with nothing to stop them, unless we bring awareness to the situation.

Others argue that deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest supports people living in the Amazon and the forest is a huge economic resource. On the “Points of View” website, in the article, “Point: Responsible Deforestation Would Not Harm the Amazon Rainforest,” it says,  “The sole benefit of deforestation is that it helps sustain rural communities living near the rainforests. Though research indicates that sustainable agriculture may provide a way to increase wages for residents while decreasing deforestation….” Deforestation does have benefits for the rural communities that rely on the Amazon, and sustainable agriculture does sustain the rainforest while benefiting communities, but sustainable deforestation hasn’t been occurring, so we still have to stop deforestation, because even with benefits, there are still too many costs and negative results of the deforestation. In the same article on “Points of View’s,” website, it states, “The Amazon rainforest holds the key to economic survival, and even prosperity, in South America. Properly developed, the resources of the Amazon could have a profound impact on the global biotechnology and agricultural industries.” While the Amazon is a major beneficial resource for South American countries, it is too costly to deforest the Amazon, because of all the consequences that can not be undone. Until we can completely use sustainable deforestation and not have to cut further into the Amazon Rainforest, deforestation is still too harmful, and benefits other countries more than South American countries, so deforestation must be stopped. This argument is flawed, because the bad aspects of deforestation outweigh the good aspects heavily. While it can be beneficial, the effects of deforestation are simply too great and have too much of a negative impact on many factors. Governments rely on the forest, and companies rely on it, but they use illegal ways of deforestation, destroying the forest, worsening climate change, and killing biodiversity. Limiting deforestation and only using sustainable deforestation when needed is a better option, and should be promoted. The South American economy can survive without destroying the forest, and there are better ways to use the Amazon.

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest should not be allowed, because of its negative impacts on climate change, biodiversity, and the fact that much of the deforestation is illegal and laws in place to protect the forest are not enforced. The fate of the Amazon Rainforest will impact everyone, not just people living in the Amazon or near the Amazon. Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest does have an impact on climate change, which impacts our daily lives. The effects of climate change from deforestation causes issues to all of us, and the best way to help slow climate change is to stop deforestation. Species are also dying from habitat loss and deforestation, and they need our help to survive. There are many things that you can do to help this cause.  You can sign this petition that I have created to bring awareness to the issue and encourage sustainable deforestation, and the limiting of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. Thank you for your time.

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