Features Of The Ecosystem
- Equatorial climate
- Valuable wood from trees
- Minerals such as gold, iron, copper can be mined
- Huge biodiversity ; 2.5 million insect spieces
40,000 plant spieces
How Is It Used?
- Logging for expensive wood which is exported
- Cattle ranching in large areas for meat
- Mining for valuable minerals
- Rubber tabbng
How Does Logging influence climate change?
Deforestation = Co2 release since the Amazon holds 10% of the world's carbon stores = global warming
A 4 degree rise in temperatures by 2100 would kill 85% of the Amazon Rainforest
Effects of Uncontrolled and unchecked exploitation
Irreversible damage such as:
- loss of biodiversity from destroying habitats
- soil erosion
- Mining destroys indeigenous tribe homes
- climate change
- Competition between farmers
- Government having to cover damage of illegal logging
Sustainable use of the forest is essential. Sustainable development will meet the needs of Brazil's population without compromising the needs of future generations
Environmentalists are concerned at loss of bidiversity and release of Co2 and the rainforest is gaining increased attention by charities and conservationists.
Solutions which are sustainable?
- Agro-forestry - growing trees and crops at the same time. This lets farmers take advantage of shelter from the canopy of trees. It prevents soil erosion and the crops benefit from the nutrients from the dead organic matter.
- Selective logging - trees are only felled when they reach a particular height. This allows young trees a guaranteed life span and the forest will regain full maturity after around 30-50 years.
- Education - ensuring those involved in exploitation and management of the forest understand the consequences behind their actions.
- Afforestation - the opposite of deforestation. If trees are cut down, they are replaced to maintain the canopy.
- Forest reserves - areas protected from exploitation.
- Monitoring - use of satellite technology and photography to check that any activities taking place are legal and follow guidelines for sustainability.
Have they been successful so far?
Yes. From 2002 to 2006 conserved land in the Amazon tripeled and deforestation rates droppes up to 60%