Human Impact On Amazon Rain Forest
Cattle pastures account for 60% of the deforested land in the Amazon Rainforest. Cattle-ranching was first publicized in the 1980s that was the first time the public was informed upon these issues while cattle-ranching and the impacts started 20 years before that. Cattle-ranching is one of the main exports with the economy making $250 per hectare when there are 45 million hectares for farming cattle.
As cattle pasture increases the risk of fire and causes soil erosion, river siltation, and contamination with organic matter. Cattle-ranching is highly unsustainable with 1 cow per hectare. The land has been cleared to grow foods like cocoa beans, cashews, vanilla, acai berries, coffee beans, soy, avocadoes, bananas and spices such as cinnamon and pepper. To prepare the land for growing they cut trees down and burn vegetation which creates a layer of nutrient soil in contrast to the natural soil where it is enabled for growing crops.
Soybeans are the most grown crop with 24 million hectares devoted to the growth of this crop and is the second-largest supplier in the world. 80% of soy is used as animal feed while the rest is used as oil or eaten. Infrastructure which includes roads, bridges, and highways to transport the food being grown throughout the amazon, as well as houses to accommodate workers and their families, have all played a part in deforestation.
Roads have caused damage such as changes in air and soil temperature and moisture, pollution, as well as restrictions on the movement of animals. This may cause further damage to endangered species in the Amazon forest as they will lose their homes to the newly built structures. If the forest disappears we will not be able to use the natural resources it provides. This may lead to famine for the people who live in and around the Amazon rainforest who rely on it to survive. These alterations have also caused animals to live elsewhere as the forest no longer can provide what they need to thrive in the habitat. This may cause endangered species to become extinct if they don’t find a place to live as they are already on the verge of extinction.
Due to logging and clearing land for cows, crops, and infrastructure the 2 billion tons of carbon that the amazon absorbs the breaks down into oxygen will be released into the atmosphere which will account for 5% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
These impacts can also have devastating effects on the indigenous tribes as they struggle to protect their land. As well as having to protect their land they also rely on the natural resources the forest produce which may not be possible if we continue down this destructive path.