One minute read. Written by a grade 8 student
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world – it’s about half the size of the United States (imagine that!). The rainforest is located in Brazil (in South America). It is so big that its trees produce about 20% of the world’s oxygen and suck in the bad gases – like carbon dioxide – which are released by cities around the world.. Not only that the rainforest also deposits a big, big amount of water into the atmosphere. Hence, the health of this rainforest is very, very important for the earth.
But now this forest is burning. And that’s a big worry, because it can have serious effects on the earth’s well-being. The obvious question is – why it is burning and why is nothing being done to stop it.
The fires, most believe, were started by the farmer and cattle ranchers who want to clear the land so they can use it for their own purposes. But why?
The thing is that Brazil’s economy (that is general financial well-being) is not doing well. So, when its President – Jair Bolsonaro – was running for elections, he promised to make the economy better (which would lead to creating jobs and people making more money). One of the ways in which he said he could do this was by looking at the Amazon area for uses its great resources for business. The Amazon is rich in minerals resources including gold, copper, tantalum, iron ore, nickel and manganese.
This, say environmental organizations, has led to many farmers and loggers (people who collect wood to sell) burn the freely (knowing that they would not be punished because that is what the president wants).
The President has said that the fires are caused by heat, but that is probably not the case, as has been proven by many environment agencies. The shocking, and worrying, fact is that deforestation increased by 300 percent in ONE year. The main causes of deforestation are soya and livestock farming, the construction of hydroelectric dams and roads, the
Why Should We Worry?
• The Amazon rainforest has been called the earth’s lungs and is very rich in biodiversity
• It produces about 20 per cent of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
• The trees, one study has found, take in as much as the gases released by some countries that surround it.
• It contains a third of the world’s primary forests and, through the Amazon River (the world’s largest) and its tributaries, provides 20 percent of the Earth’s unfrozen fresh water.
So, what will happen when a forest, which is supposed to absorb the toxic gases, starts releasing those on its own? It can very dangerous for the earth. It must be stopped.
WORDS TO KNOW:
Deforestation: the clearance, clearcutting or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use.
Economy: the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.