Deforestation In The Amazon Rainforest

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The Amazon Rainforest is situated in South America and plays a role in the culture, the economy, and the environment of the states that contain parts of the forest. About two-thirds of the rainforest is in Brazil. The Amazon Rainforest is a carbon sink and absorbs more carbon than it releases. However, with the continued deforestation of the Amazon, the forest is only absorbing half as much carbon as it used to. This is, in part, caused by deforestation as well as tree die-offs. Tree die-offs are caused by increases in carbon dioxide. Deforestation is the second highest source of greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels being the highest source of greenhouse gases (Renick, Shirlick, Ariav 2016). The Amazon Rainforest is also a biodiversity hotspot. It contains one third of the known terrestrial plant, animal, and insect species (Krogh). The deforestation of the Amazon creates space for agriculture, dams, mines, and infrastructure (Renick, Shirlick, Ariav 2016). These developments impact both the state as well as the indigenous people living in the Amazon Rainforest. Within Brazil, intense deforestation began in the 1960s as the Brazilian government offered incentives to for people to move into the Amazon. These incentives were combined with more efficient tools which led to an increase in intensity of deforestation (Renick, Shirlick, Ariav 2016). In 1988, the indigenous people were given a right to their land. This has been very effective decreasing deforestation (Krogh).

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