Tears For The Last Tree
Photograph - Fusion Photography
Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate in Brazil. According to Wikipedia, ‘Brazil once had the highest deforestation rate in the world and as of 2005 still has the largest area of forest removed annually. Since 1970, over 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 sq mi) of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. In 2001, the Amazon was approximately 5.4 million square kilometres, which is only 87% of the Amazon’s original state. Rainforests have decreased in size primarily due to deforestation. Despite reductions in the rate of deforestation in the last ten years, the Amazon Rainforest will be reduced by 40% by 2030 at the current rate. Between May 2000 and August 2006, Brazil lost nearly 150,000 square kilometres of forest, an area larger than that of Greece. According to the Living Planet Report 2010, deforestation is continuing at an alarming rate, but at the CBD 9th Conference 67 ministers signed up to help achieve zero net deforestation by 2020’. Further, The removal of forest to make way for cattle ranching was the leading cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon from the mid 1960s. In addition to Vargas's earlier aim for commercial development in the country, the devaluation of the Brazilian real against the dollar had the result of doubling the price of beef in reals and gave ranchers a widespread incentive to increase the size of their cattle ranches and areas under pasture for mass beef production, resulting in large areas of forest removal. Access to clear the forest was facilitated by the land tenure policy in Brazil that meant developers could proceed without restraint and install new cattle ranches which in turn functioned as a qualification for land ownership. The removal of the Amazon forest for cattle farming in Brazil was also seen by developers as an economic investment during periods of high inflation where the appreciation of cattle prices providing a way of outpacing the interest rate earned on money left in the bank. Brazilian beef was more competitive on the world market at a time when extensive improvements in the road network in the Amazonas in the early 1970s through the Trans Amazonian highway and subsequent other new roads gave potential developers access to vast areas of previously inaccessible parts of the forest. This coincided with the reduction of transportation costs through cheaper fuels such as ethanol which lowered the costs of shipping the beef from denser areas of the forest giving ranchers an incentive to maximise profits.
This image reflects my thoughts on what us becoming a world tragedy.
January 8th, 2013
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