Professor Luke Lambert
9 May 2012
Killing the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon basin, the largest rainforest in the world, is located in South America by the Amazon River. It covers an area of 2.3 million square miles and is spread out over nine different countries (Beckham 57). The Amazon is known for its great abundance and diversity of life (57). It is estimated that the Amazon holds about twenty percent of all higher plant species on Earth, as well as twenty percent of all bird life, and ten percent of all mammals (57). And yet, many animal and plant species are still to be discovered as this place has just begun to be explored by “competent researchers and scientists” (57). However, the future of this biodiversity may soon be destroyed if deforestation continues. Large areas of the rainforest are being burned down to create room for new agriculture, and in other areas trees are being removed for commercial logging. Deforestation of the tropical rainforest in South America has been an ongoing environmental problem for the past few decades primarily due to human population growth and their agriculture. It probably should be put to a halt, or drastically reduced because rainforests are the lungs of the Earth, and if we don’t do something about it, the air we breathe may soon be polluted without the possibility to restore it. But this problem is a little bit more complex because all these people want to do is make a living, or create a better life.
The nine countries in the northern part of South America who extends the Amazon forest are Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, and French Guiana (Kirby et al. 433). Brazil accounts for the largest area and holds almost 70% of the Southern American rainforest (433). All these countries are poor, or low-income countries with the exception of Brazil. They are rising to become a more developed country. Probably the main reason that most of these countries...