Presentation on theme: "The Amazon Rainforest. Background: A moist broadleaf forest (in the Amazon Basin of South America) Total area of Amazon Basin : 7 million square km² ("— Presentation transcript:
Background: A moist broadleaf forest (in the Amazon Basin of South America) Total area of Amazon Basin : 7 million square km² ( the forest itself occupies 5.5 million km²) located within 9 nations: Brazil (with 60% of the rainforest), Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.BrazilColombiaPeruVenezuelaEcuador BoliviaGuyanaSurinameFrench Guiana The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.
A map showing the location of the Amazon Rainforest ( yellow line enclosed )
Deforestation in the Amazon: Deforestation : forested areas converse to non-forested areas. The main sources of deforestation in the Amazon are human settlement and development of the land Between 1991 and 2000, the total area of forest lost in the Amazon rose from 415,000 to 587,000 km² twice the size of Portugal with most of the lost forest becoming pasture for cattle.
History of deforestation and farming system of the Amazon: when the colonists established farms within the forest during the 1600s. Their farming system was based on crop cultivation and the slash and burn method. The colonists were unable to successfully manage their fields and the crops because loss of soil fertility and weed invasion. soils in the Amazon are productive for just a short period of time, and the farmers are therefore constantly moving and clearing more and more land However the results of the farming : extensive deforestation and caused extensive environmental damage.
Slash and burn cutting and burning of forest or woodlands to create fields for agriculture or pasture for livestock, or for a variety of other purposes. Historically, the practice of slash and burn has been widely used throughout most of the world,but the practice has been mostly abandoned over the past few centuries
Today The land is being cleared for cattle ranches, mining operations, logging, and subsistence agriculture. Some forests are being burned to make charcoal to power industrial plants. Native peoples of the Amazon rainforest have used different plants for centuries as cures and potions for their health and survival.
According to Brazilian National Institute of Space Research(INPE), the original Amazon rainforest biome in Brazil of 4,100,000 km² was reduced to 3,403,000 km² by 2005
Causes of Deforestation in the Amazon: Figures for specific causes of deforestation in the Amazon are spotty at best. Below are some rough estimated ranges, based on published data, informal surveys, and other sources. Cattle ranches 60-70% Small-scale, subsistence agriculture 30-40% Large-scale, commercial agriculture 1-2% Logging, legal and illegal 2-4% Fires/mining/urbanization/road construction/dams 2-4% (Selective logging and fires that burn under the forest canopy commonly result in forest degradation, not deforestation. Therefore these factor less in overall deforestation figures.)
The above pie chart showing deforestation in the Amazon by cause is based on the median figures for estimate ranges.
A LITTLE FACT * The annual rate of deforestation has continued to increase from 1990 to 2003, because … (a) Profit form soybeans: Brazil (second-largest global producer of soybeans) as prices for soybeans rise the soy farmers are pushing northwards into forested areas of the Amazon. ( As stated in Brazilian legislation, clearing land for crops or fields is considered an ‘effective use’ of land and is the beginning towards land ownership. (b) Profit form reselling the land: Cleared property is also valued 5–10 times more than forested land and for that reason valuable to the owner whose ultimate objective is resale
Consequences of deforestation in the Amazon http://www.voice-online.co.uk/content.php?show=9770 AMAZON DEFORESTATION CAUSES HURRICANEhttp://www.voice-online.co.uk/content.php?show=9770 The Caribbean could be vulnerable to increased hurricane activity if deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is not stoppedCaribbean Amazon rainforest Working with religious leaders, scientists and politicians, Lelei LeLaulu, the president of Counterpart International, spoke on the effects that deforestation of the Amazon could have in the Caribbean, and the gulf states of America and Mexico.Caribbean He said: “The scientists are telling us forest deforestation of the Amazon leads to a failure if forest transpiration, the forest pumps, leaving heat in the southern north Atlantic which in turn gives birth to more extreme hurricanes in the Caribbean.”forest birthCaribbean Currently, more than one fifth of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed and, according to a Brazilian congressional committee, the Amazon is vanishing at a rate of 52,000 square kilometres per year(20,000 miles per year). With these figures, the rainforest would be completely destroyed by the year 2050.Amazon rainforest rainforest LeLaulu said: “ We are now able to explain why the sea temperature of the southern north Atlantic has been rising, giving birth to more extreme hurricanes which ravage the Caribbean and north America.”birth Caribbean
Amazon Conservation Rehabilitation and increased productivity of formerly forested lands - - -Rehabilitation and increased productivity of formerly forested lands -Increasing productivity of cleared rainforest lands by using improved technology to generate higher yielding crops. -produce grasses and crops that will grow on degraded forest soils -According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, the species has recovered "from a low of 200 wild animals recorded in the early 1970s...[to its] 1,000th wild birth in March 2001."World Wildlife Fund for Nature
Expansion of protection areasExpansion of protection areas ensuring sufficient enforcement agencies and funding exist for the maintenance of protected areas encouraging the involvement of locals
Development based on concepts of sustainable use of some existing forestDevelopment based on concepts of sustainable use of some existing forest e.g. Restrict the trade of certain rainforest tree species (Selective logging) Eliminate tax incentives and land policies which encourage conversion of forest to pasture. Increase productivity on existing pastureland
Conservation ? Some environmentalists commonly state : 1 hectare in the Peruvian Amazon has been calculated to have a value of $6820 if intact forest is sustainably harvested for fruits, latex, and timber; $1000 if clear- cut for commercial timber (not substainably harvested); or $148 if used as cattle pasture. However, the assumptions of this study have been widely challenged. From 2002 to 2006, the conserved land in the Amazon Rainforest has almost tripled and deforestation rates have dropped up to 60%.