Causes and Effects of Resource Extraction (case studies for Edexcel A's Challenges for the Planet)

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  • Created by: Sophie :)
  • Created on: 31-05-13 14:57

Mining in West Papua, Indonesia.

Gold and copper has been mined in West Papua, Indonesia since 1960 and this has had many negative effects on the environment and the people. The local communities have had a shortage of clean water because everyday 285 000 tonnes of untreated mining waste is dumped in River Aghawaghon. This has also caused many fish to die which means this is no longer a good food source. The crocodiles and turtles in the Teluk Etna region are also on the brink of extinction due to the pollution of their habitats.

Furthermore, the local community has a lack of money because they are being exploited by being given the lowest paid jobs.

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Oil Extraction in Ecuador

Oil is extacted from the Oriente region of Ecuador and it is causing many health problems for the local people. In these oil exploitation areas it five times more likely for the people to develop stomach cancer because the concentration of hydrocarbons in the water is 200-300 times greater than the concentration allowed for human consumption. This has also meant that there are many miscarriages in the indigenous tribes such as the Huaroni tribe. In addition, toxic waste water mixed with crude oil is seeping out of 600 unlined pits, this has meant the surrounding farmland and fresh water is being polluted. The periwinkle plant, which is used to cure childhood leukemia, is now an endangered species because of the pollution of its habitat.

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Logging in Cameroon

In Cameroon, the elephants and chimpanzees are being killed and their meat sold for high prices in restaurants because logging companies have built roads which have allowed hunters greater access to the forest. Furthermore, the local Baka people are at risk of developing health problems because when they work in the sawmills they do not wear any protective clothing. This means they are breathing in toxic products used to treat the wood which may result in breathing problems.

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