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Environmental Issues in Latin America

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Presentation on theme: "Environmental Issues in Latin America"— Presentation transcript:

1 Environmental Issues in Latin America

2 Save the Environment! As countries grow in population and add more factories and businesses, they often face serious challenges to their environment. One of the most important issues facing Latin American countries today is how to maintain a clean, healthy environment amidst rapid growth.

3 Air Pollution in Mexico City
Mexico City, Mexico is a huge city with a serious air pollution problem. Mexico City is one of the most polluted cities in the world! People living there are exposed to toxic gases and chemicals in the air they breathe every day, which can lead to respiratory illness.

4 Air Pollution in Mexico City (cont’d.)
Mexico City’s pollution is caused by emissions from factories and automobiles that build up over the city. Mountains surrounding Mexico City are like walls that trap pollutants in a brown haze called smog. The wind is not strong enough to blow the pollutants over the mountains, so they continue to accumulate each day.

5 Air Pollution in Mexico City (cont’d.)
The Mexican government has put measures in place to help reduce the air pollution. They include a program limiting how often you can drive your car, strict inspections of emissions systems on cars, and changing the kind of fuel cars and factories use.

6 Quick Quiz Questions What type of pollution does Mexico City face?
Emissions in Mexico City come from: What traps pollutants above Mexico City? In Mexico City, why can you not drive your car everyday?

7 Destruction of the Rain Forest in Brazil
A major environmental issue in Brazil is destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. The rainforest is important to the environment of Brazil as well as the entire world. Rainforests are home to the largest variety of plant and animal species on the planet, and are known as the “lungs of the earth” because they convert carbon dioxide into valuable oxygen.

8 Destruction of the Rain Forest in Brazil (cont’d.)
The destruction of Brazil’s rainforest is caused by road building, farmers cutting down forests to plant crops (called “slash and burn” farming), cattle ranching, logging, mining, and new settlements. The deforestation has many negative effects on the environment, including loss of habitat for millions of species and climate change.

9 Destruction of the Rain Forest in Brazil (cont’d.)
Trees protect forest soil from drying out into barren land, and return water vapor back into the atmosphere. Although Brazil’s economy is growing from deforestation, the government is now setting aside large protected areas and setting up programs where new trees are planted when older trees are cut down.

10 Think About It: Short Answer Questions
List two reasons why the rainforest is important. List three reasons why the rainforest is being destroyed. What negative effect does deforestation have on the environment?

11 Oil-Related Pollution in Venezuela
Oil is an important resource in Venezuela. Oil provides about 50 percent of their government revenue. Oil pollution has caused serious environmental and economic problems in Venezuela.

12 Oil-Related Pollution in Venezuela (cont’d.)
Occasional oil spills have killed fish, which damages the environment and hurts the fishing industry. Oil spills have shut down tourist resorts on Lake Maracaibo, the largest lake in South America. Contaminated oil pits, which collect waste from oil wells, also threaten to seep into Venezuela’s water sources.

13 Oil-Related Pollution in Venezuela (cont’d.)
Venezuela’s state oil company is working to clean up its oil pits, and has adopted an environment policy to focus more closely on environmental protection.

14 Write About It Write a paragraph explaining how pollution has affected Venezuela. Be sure to list three ways the oil is polluting Venezuela’s environment.

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