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Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: Is it sustainable?

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Sarah T.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Description of the topic
    1. The economic benefits of tropical forests
    2. The primary driver of deforestation
    3. Trends in annual Amazon deforestation
    4. World demand for Brazil's soy and beef products
    5. Vegetation and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
  3. Evaluation
  4. References

Over the past 4 decades, almost 20 percent of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil has been cut down. This area is equivalent to the size of Western Europe. Scientists are now warning that another 20 percent will be lost in the next 2 decades (Wallace, 2007). Selective logging for timber usually begins the process, followed by rapid deforestation, mainly for pasture and agricultural land. Some of the major implications associated with loss of forest include loss of watershed protection, decreased carbon sequestration, loss of ecotourism, lowered existence value, depletion of genetic resources, decreased biological wealth and cultural heritage (Thurston and Burness 2006; Nepstad and others 2006). Currently, the primary drivers of deforestation are the soy and beef industries, both of which are themselves driven by national and international markets (Nepstad and others 2006).

[...] Vegetation and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon as of 2001, from World Resources Institute 2007. Some socioeconomic impacts will likely become more evident as the agroindustry continues to expand. Family-owned farms and indigenous communities will be displaced. Land ownership disputes over property claims and land thievery have become very common in Brazil. Land ?sharks' even go so far as to age phony land titles in order to profit from land that is not theirs (Wallace 2007). Evaluation The Brazilian government's intervention in the situation occurring in the Amazon has focused on controlling fraudulent activity and zoning certain regions of land. [...]


[...] Wallace S Last of the Amazon: in the time it takes to read this article, an area of Brazil's rain forest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed. National geographic 211(1):40-71. World Resources Institute Vegetation and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon as of 2001. [Internet]. Northeastern World Resources Institute; [cited 2007 Mar 8]. Available from http://www.wri.org/biodiv/pubs_maps_description.cfm?ImageID=2485. ADDITIONAL REFERENCES Couceiro, SR, Hamada, Luz, SL, Forsberg, BR, Pimentel, TP Deforestation and sewage effects on aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban streams in Manaus Amazonas, Brazil. [...]

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