The Growing Deforestation Problem in Brazil

Amazon rainforest from above, unaffected by deforestation

(CN Traveller)

Amazon rainforest from above, unaffected by deforestation

Bri, Staff Writer

Deforestation could potentially damage the Earth further, but what is deforestation? Deforestation is the process of clearing trees for agriculture, logging, urbanization, and mining. In Brazil, they perform deforestation to make room for cattle. The area being cleared is the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. As climate change becomes a bigger problem, we need the Amazon to potentially slow and weaken the effects of climate change. The destruction of the rainforest is costing many animals their homes, putting many in danger of extinction.

So why is deforestation a problem? Cutting down a large number of trees in one area can diminish the amount of oxygen in the air, while simultaneously increasing the amount of Carbon Dioxide. With the increase of carbon in the air, it can make climate change even worse, and with less oxygen in the air, it can become hard for us to breathe. Student Kristy A. says, “I could see deforestation becoming a larger problem in the future.” Deforestation can also cause potential extinction. Extinction itself is a problem because some animals have really important roles in the ecosystem they live in. If those key species go extinct it could disrupt the entire ecosystem until there’s nothing left. Animals already at risk include Toucans, Jaguars, Golden Lion Tamarin, The South American Tapir, Giant Otters, The Uakari Monkey, White-cheeked Spider Monkey, Hyacinth Macaw, Lazy Bear, Pink Amazon Dolphin, and the Common Spider Monkey. These are only 11 of the Endangered species in the Amazon as there are many more.

Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest

What’s going on in Brazil? In January 2022, Brazil’s deforestation problem hit a new record. The act totaled 430sq kilometers, 5 times higher than January 2021. President Jair Bolsonaro supports deforestation claiming that commercial farming and mining in the Amazon can lift the region out of poverty. As a result, deforestation has increased to please the president, in fear of the president. Brazilians have become outraged, protesting against the president’s new anti-environment bills and the mining on top of indigenous lands. The new bills would allow deforestation to become legal, which means deforestation can speed up even more, destroying the Amazon Rainforest even faster.

A patch of land affected by deforestation

What is Brazil going to do to stop the growing problem, and what can we do? Last year Brazil pledged to end illegal deforestation by 2028, but under the jurisdiction of the current president, deforestation has only increased and it seems like there’s no end in sight. Student Keomi says that she, “Doesn’t think deforestation will ever end,” Keomi also thinks it will be difficult to end deforestation because, “It’s people’s job, it’ll leave a lot of people unemployed.” With elections coming up for Brazilians in October, the only hope they have is to hopefully elect former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has shown to have a green new deal to hopefully stop deforestation from worsening further. Student Kristy A says we can, “Speak up about it more.” As a way to stop deforestation. We can also donate to organizations that can help stop deforestation, sign petitions, and stand with the Brazilian, and Indigenous people as they fight to save the Amazon Rainforest.