Land Use Conflict in the Amazon Rainforest By Sam Irving
The Geographic Setting Cover 6% of the Earth’s surface. Home to about 50% of the world’s living species. Nicknamed “the lungs of the Earth.”
Essential Question • How should the resources of the Amazon rainforest be used and preserved?
Land Use Conflict • What do you think this means? • :Arguments about the best ways to use the land. • Let’s look at the six sides to this conflict.
Native Amazonians • Lived in the rainforest for 12,000 years. • A sustainable way of life. • Using the resources without causing long-term damage. • Hunting, Fishing, Subsistence Farming • Want legal ownership of their homelands. • Save the Forest to Save Us! • Why don’t they want development?
Rubber Tappers • First came to the Amazon in the 1870s. • Collect sap from rubber trees to make rubber. • Sustainable (doesn’t hurt the trees) • Want to create protected reserves.
Loggers • Enter the Amazon in the 1960s. • Clear-cut forests and sell lumber. • Deforestation • Is this Sustainable? • Provide forestry jobs, helping the Brazilian economy. • In 2004 alone, Brazil exported over $5 billion worth of wood.
Settlers • Entered the Amazon in the 1960s with gov’t encouragement. • Poor people looking for rainforest land to farm. • Poor soil forces settlers to clear-cut new fields every few years. • Is this sustainable?
Cattle Ranchers • Also entered in the 60s. • Clear-cut to create grassland to feed cattle. • Feed the world with beef and help the Brazilian economy. • The U.S. is one of the biggest buyers of Brazilian beef. • Some estimate 55 feet of rainforest are cleared for every hamburger sold in the U.S.
Environmentalists • Became active in the 1970s. • Protect the biodiversity of the rainforest. • A 2.5-acre patch of rainforest contains about 125 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 750 species of trees, and 1,500 species of flowering plants . • Over 100 plant, animal, and insect species are lost everyday due to deforestation. • Want slower, smarter rainforest development.
Ideas for Reducing Land Use Conflict • Promote Ecotourism: attracts people who would like to visit a unique ecosystem.
Encourage sustainable development. • Ex. Shade-grown coffee • Ex. Strip logging
What do you think? How do we get from here to here?
Assignment: Letter to the Brazilian Gov’t • ELT: Investigate issues and justify possible resolutions involving people, places, and environments. • Write a letter to the Brazilian Gov’t explaining your ideas on how to best use and preserve the resources of the Amazon Rainforest. • Describe two actions and explain how these actions will meet the needs of at least three groups involved in the land-use conflict.
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