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Y11 Geography 1 What is happening in the Amazon?.

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1 Y11 Geography 1 What is happening in the Amazon?

2 2 Introduction C The Amazon is found in South America and is the largest rainforest in the world in the depths of its jungles it has the river Amazon flow through, The Amazon is so large is accounts for half of total rainforests in the world, although most of the Amazon is stretched over Brazil it does brake into a lot of other countries. These countries include Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and Guyana, Venezuela, Bolivia, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon River is 6280km long and is the widest river in the world. The Amazon Rainforest covers 6.5 million square km of land. It represents 54% of the total rainforests left on Earth It is home to thousands of trees and hundreds of different types of animals. It contains 1 in ten of the species known to earth, half of the world’s tropical forest, and 4,100 miles of winding river (1/5th of the earth’s free fresh water). The Amazon rainforest is world's largest tropical rainforest which covers an area of 6.5 million square kilometres. It represents 54% of the total rainforests left on Earth. Thanks to Guy, Craig, Rosalie, Jack and Zoe

3 3 Causes of rainforest destruction in the Amazon There were a number of useful graphs showing the reasons – I suggest you learn the order of the top 4 or 5 and the % of just the top 2. What are they? 1. Other = fires, mining, roads, dams 2. Logging leads to degradation rather than deforestation – one degraded, cattle ranchers move in and finish the job (and get the blame!) 3. Share of deforested land converted to cattle.

4 4 Causes of rainforest destruction in the Amazon What pattern can you see here?

5 5 A few more thoughts Deforestation is happening in the Amazon for many different reasons, and couple of these are human settlement on the land (using the land for sheep and cow ranching), trees being harvested for many reasons (creating furniture, paper, to build structures), drugs, for medical plants, fire wood, setting up industries, land for agriculture. Some companies have been caught in the past such as McDonalds in 2006 who where using illegally deforested areas of the rainforest to harvest soybeans. The soybeans where used to feed chickens that are used at the chain’s restaurants. While some companies face consequences others are getting away with using the forests for their own purposes and causing deforestation. Brazil is the second largest global producer in soya beans. Helpful Sources: amazon_x.htmhttp://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/ mcdonalds- amazon_x.htm Logging in the Amazon is controlled by strict licensing which allows timber to be harvested only in designated areas. However, there is significant evidence that illegal logging is quite widespread in Brazil. In recent years, enforcement agency has made several large seizures of illegally harvested timber including one in September 2003 when 17 people were arrested for allegedly cutting 10,000 hectares worth of timber. Illegal loggers cut down trees and use to produce charcoal. In one month some 800 illegal ovens were taken down by the government. For every tree harvested, 5-10 trees are logged. Thanks to Guy, Alesha, Craig, Elna, Omar, Rosalie and Zoe

6 6 A few more thoughts Historical prospective: Clearing for Cattle Pasture - Cattle ranching is the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon. This has been the case since at least the 1970s (government figures show a 38 percent increase in deforestation from due to cattle ranching). However, today the situation may be even worse. According to the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), between 1990 and 2001 the percentage of Europe's processed meat imports that came from Brazil rose from 40 to 74 percent and by 2003 for the first time ever, the growth in cattle production—80 percent of which was in the Amazon—was largely exported. Infrastructure Improvements –Roads provide access to logging and mining sites while opening forest frontier land to exploitation by poor landless farmers. Brazil's Trans-Amazonian Highway was one of the most ambitious economic development programs ever devised. In the 1970s, Brazil planned a 2,000-mile highway that would go through the massive Amazon forest. Colonists would be granted a 250-acre lot, six-months' salary, and easy access to agricultural loans in exchange for settling along the highway and converting the surrounding rainforest into agricultural land. The plan would grow to cost Brazil US $65,000 (1980 dollars) to settle each family, a staggering amount for Brazil, a developing country at the time. Soya bean production. Farmers cut down form the forest to have more area to plant more soybeans. Thanks to Guy, Alesha, Craig, Elna, Omar, Rosalie and Zoe

7 7 Impacts – ecosystem There are 3 main impacts of deforestation. They are environmental, social and economic. The environmental impact is on habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity, for example the number of endangered species in Brazil increased from 218 in 1989 to 628 in The Amazon is one of the richest areas in the world in animal and plant diversity. There are more plant species in one hectare in the Amazon than the whole of Europe. Over 200 species of trees can be found on one hectare of Amazon, and one tree has been shown to have 72 different species of ants living in it. So if 100 hectors of land are deforested, then 200,000 trees are removed. That make 14,400,000 (fourteen million, four hundred thousand) ants which are killed. There is 5 layers to the rainforest. On each layer there is a complete ecosystem. This is then intermingled with the other ecosystems, causing a huge ecosystem web. So when deforestation takes place in say just one hectare of land, 5 linked ecosystems are being destroyed. In those ecosystems, are animals that man know about, but there are thousands of different types of creatures, that man are yet to discover. The question is will they ever discover them? With the forest being wiped away, and habitats being erased, these animals are dying out. So we see that it is destruction of all wildlife.

8 8 Impacts – climate Climate Change ( global impacts)– Climate change is a big thing that is happening today, and what is not helping is the cutting down of the Amazon trees. When large amounts of the Amazon are cut down, exposed soil is heated and dried out completely. This makes the soil unusable, and adds to the reduced rain fall. Along with this forest fires that give of carbon dioxide are not helping the atmosphere. With many trees being subject to fire, huge amounts of Carbon dioxide are produced. CO2 traps a lot of heat causing global warming or climate change The main impacts of deforestation in the Amazon are Local Climate Change. Due to trees being cut down and there being a lack of canopy leaves, the soil is exposed to the sun and evaporation happens quickly. This results in the soil becoming cracked and dry. Also, with a lack of shaded area, temperatures become colder at night and hotter during the day – there is a dramatic increase in temperature extremes. Furthermore, the desiccation of moist forest soil results in the soil turning to sand. This makes it useless and dust storms become more frequent. Soil erosion is another impact of deforestation. When trees are cut down, there is quicker over-land flow which means more soil erosion. Uncultivated land increases the rate of gulley and sheet erosion. Flooding also becomes an issue as there is more and more bare land. There are also changes in rainfall pattern. The convection rainfall means heavy rainfall occurs more frequently in the afternoon. Trees intercept water and soil percolates into the soil to be taken in by trees which will transpire it back into the atmosphere so temperatures rise. The daily rainfall common in many parts of tropical rainfall is called convection rainfall. The air rises and eventually condenses and cools into clouds. Deforestation results in this pattern of rainfall changing. The international impacts are that there is more carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the air. This is because there is less trees to photosynthesise. Thus, temperatures are higher – global warming becomes more apparent.

9 9 Impacts – other Social impacts affect the local ways of life; some Brazilian rubber tapers have lost their livelihoods, as some of the rubber trees have been cut down. Native tribes have been forced to move somewhere else, as some of their land has been taken for cattle ranching and sugar plantations. There have been riots between large landowners, farmers and local people, for example the riot in 2009 where hundreds of native Indians were killed or injured. Economic impacts effect income and jobs, as farming has made a lot of money for the countries in the rainforest, for example in 2008 Brazil made $6.9 billion from trading cattle. The mining industry creates lots of jobs for people, for example the Buenaventura Mining Company in Peru employs over 3100 people.

10 10 Managing Rainforests There are 4 basic ways of approaching rainforest management: International – for example REDD which was implemented as a result of Copenhagen in December – well not exactly as they did not actually agree anything very much there but under the auspices of REDD some good things are happening – see later National approach – some countries are taking decisions to manage their rainforests sustainably International NGOs – such as the Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council among others Small and local – indigenous people with the help of small enterprises attempt to create sustainable ways to live with the rainforest.

11 11 In a bit more detail … As the whole world is concerned with greenhouse gas emissions, and over the recent past deforestation has proved to have quite an impact on this. This has 2 parts to it:  1. The gases that are released due to deforestation  2. The greenhouses gases that are not being sequestered (locked up) by trees that are no longer there. For this reason, the whole idea of how the rich countries can encourage the poor ones to stop cutting down their trees has crawled unwilling up the international ‘to do’ list.

12 12 REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries The problem of emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of rainforest destruction was supposed to be part of the Kyoto discussion in Japan in But it was put in the ‘too hard’ box because no-one could agree how it might work. Nor could they agree how it would be funded. It was not until the Montreal round of discussion in 2005 that the Coalition of Rainforest Nations brought up the suggestion again. Finally firm proposals were agrees at the 2007 Bali round, and it is at Copenhagen that agreement over its working should have been fully implemented

13 13 REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries Why was the original problem? 1. Who gets the money? The governments, the big land owners, the indigenous people? 2. If you are going to pay people to protect rainforests, then they need to say that they would cut them down if you don’t. What about those people who don’t want to cut them down – does that mean they get nothing to protect them? and 3. Where does the money come from? The rich countries wanted to ‘offset’ their wasteful ways and carry on polluting. Environmentalists say the HICs need to cut down and pay up to offset their previous harm 4. A lot are sceptical that this will really stop deforestation – all that illegal logging and farming that happened before does not breed confidence

14 14 REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries Why is it so important to climate change? As much as 25% of the man-made emissions arise from rainforest clearance. How come it is that much? Trees absorb CO 2 and give out 0 2. Much of the carbon, combined with water make the sugar, lignin and are stored up for a very long time – they are a huge carbon sink. Once the trees are cut down they no longer do this any more. But many of the cut trees are burned – thus releasing their stored carbon – it is these 2 together than cause the problems.

15 15 REDD - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries The Basics: reforestation and afforestation were part of off-setting from the start – but reducing deforestation had been deliberately excluded – remember the ‘too hard’ box? However, after 2007, this came under the remit of REDD and was included. REDD was also charged with monitoring the situation, and with addressing the social and economic issues that had led to deforestation in the first place. Also REDD acknowledges is the biodiversity issue – all those useful plants and special animals we may loose unless we get a move on. How is it doing? It was never fully implemented at Copenhagen - but then nothing much was. However countries such Norway, Denmark and the UK are already in discussion with LICs such as Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Papua New Guinea.

16 16 National approach – some countries are taking decisions to manage their rainforests sustainably Tanzania has since the 1990s tried to run a joint government-local joint scheme to manage their forests sustainably. But hard times financially has meant that they have not always managed to do this to a high standard. But now REDD is there to help, Tanzania has set up a system to make it possible for the village communities to take advantage of the chance to improve sustainability and reduce poverty.

17 17 NGOs The FSC ( Forestry Stewardship Council) They certify providers of sustainable wood They then certify the produced of goods that use certified wood So that customers in HICs can buy wood products that come from wood from certified supplies. This encourages sustainable logging that does not lead to deforestation.

18 18 NGOs The rainforest alliance also certify goods as being from sustainable sources, but their range is far wider. They include food such as coffee, cocoa, chocolate, tea, nuts, fruits and also tourist venues. But they do far more in the field beyond registering. They work with Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) to ensure sustainable production.

19 19 An example of SAN at work Cocoa that is produced as part of an ecosystem with a mix of trees around is much less damaging to the environment. In Ecuador, farmers have learned to properly sort, dry and ferment the beans using a cooperative processing facility, which reduces the number of defective and rotten beans, and also happens to preserve the chocolate's anti-oxidant properties as well as its potassium content. Drying their cocoa using solar rather than gas powered dryers and selling their product through a cooperative, these farmers have increased their production and lowered their costs, resulting in better living conditions for their families.

20 20 Small scale developments Harvesting products from the native forest rather than cutting them down: It has been estimated that the products from some areas of rainforest, if regularly harvested give an income of ½ the value of the wood EVERY YEAR. Forests products Fruit market in Madagascar by R. Butler

21 21 Agroforestry Agroforestry is a form of agriculture that seeks to copy nature more carefully than large-scale commercial monoculture (i.e. growing one crop) or cattle ranching. Rather than clearing the rainforest completely (clear felling), only the older larger trees are felled, and shrubs, other food plants (such as vanilla) and flowers are grown in the clearings. It is also possible to plant legumes which add nitrogen to the soil.

22 22 What are the benefits and advantages of agroforestry? Soil protection and improvement Maintenance and retention of soil moisture Biodiversity balance Low impact to the environment Pleasant environment to work Harvest and income staggered Reducing the use of defensive chemicals Production of healthy foods Environmental services

23 23 An example of it working in Madagascar Savoka (or permaculture) gardens are planted on fallow plots and are planned as "a carefully selected succession of trees and plants on the fallow land that re-enriches the soil at the same time as producing a steady stream of food crops and other useful products." For example, the use of wild ginger adds phosphorus to soils while leguminous plants can fix nitrogen that is lost with traditional rice cultivation. The addition of perennials—crops which continue to produce for a number of years like citrus, manioc, vanilla, banana, mango, pepper, cacao, coffee, and rubber—can help restore nutrients to degraded soils and remain productive for decades while generating a diversified income and/or diet. A bonus of such agroforestry techniques is that they maintain forest systems, soils, and biological diversity at a far higher level than do conventional agricultural techniques. As long as such fields are adjacent to secondary and old-growth forest, many species will continue to thrive.

24 24 Ecotourism Rainforest ecotourism involves both environmental conservation and sustainable development, which is a good way to protect the rainforest, and is like a perfect development strategy for undeveloped areas of the world. Tourism itself brings added dollars to an area's economy, but ecotourism has the added bonus of travellers who want to take care of the area they're visiting, through a combination of careful living methods that do less damage to the environment, and through bringing money which encourage the inhabitants to take care the forest is kept pristine.

25 25 Costa Rica: Pacuare Reserve Lodge The beautiful and well constructed Lodge overlooks the beach and a freshwater lagoon which opens on to the main Tortuguero canal. There is no electricity — this is the jungle after all!! Light comes form candles and storm lamps but there is gas for cooking and refrigeration.

26 26 Costa Rica: Pacuare Reserve Lodge The Pacuare Nature Reserve was established by the Endangered Wildlife Trust in 1989 and protects 800 hectares of lowland tropical rainforest and six kms. of deserted beach on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. It is located about 25 kms. north of Limón and lies between the sea and the Tortuguero canal. The special mission of the reserve has been to protect the Leatherback Turtles, which nest along its beach - one of the most important nesting sites in Central America for this critically endangered species. The Reserve is rich in wildlife, and is home to about 20 species of mammal and many reptiles. Monkeys are plentiful and Howler monkeys regularly provide a dawn chorus

27 27 Homework You have met the issues. Our Case study will be the Amazon. Having looked at the different ways in which the rainforest can be managed in a general sense, you need to research 2 or 3 ideas about examples of these kinds of activities in the Amazon.


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