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Amazon Presentation

Environmental Disaster Report

Enda Greaney

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of Amazon Presentation

Effects of Deforestation Amazon Rainforest By Enda Greaney Is 54% of the total rainforests left on Earth Amazonian Rainforest "Lungs of the Planet" Produces 20% of the world's oxygen Area of 2.5 million square miles, embracing nine countries;
Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and the Guiana’s Amazon River flows for 4,000 miles with over 1,100 tributaries Contains one-fifth of the world's fresh water Amazonian Rainforest World's highest level of biodiversity Average Temperatures of 25-30 degrees C Half of the world's estimated ten million species of plants, animals and insects Home of 250,000 Amazon natives, comprising of 215 ethnic groups with 170 different languages. Native Tribes that have never had contact with the outside world Deforestation Forces of globalization have invaded the Amazon rainforest and are exploiting it for Short-term Profit Since 1970, over 200,000 square miles of Amazon rainforest have been lost due to deforestation, ( close to 20% of the rain forest) The Sources of the Deforestation are ; Logging Farming & Grazing Gold Mining Logging Paper industry requires a massive amount of pulpwood trees. Rainforest is burned to the ground and replanted with pulpwood trees. Furniture industry logging tropical hardwoods for exportation (teak, mahogany, etc) Logged wood off the Ucayali River in Peru. Most Logging sites are or were illegal and uncontrolled. Once the trees are extracted and the loggers have moved on, Deforested land serve as conduits for an explosive mix of squatters, speculators, ranchers, farmers, and invariably, hired gunmen. Farming & Grazing 60 % of deforested land is used for farming and cattle grazing Cattle ranching is believed to be the leading cause of deforestation Increase in forest fires is linked with the increase in Cattle grazing and Soybean Farms Soy farms are largest crop being grown and the crop exhausts the land after 3 or 4 crop cycles due to the lands poor-gradients condition and the lack of sustainable cultivation practices. Drives farmers on a search of new, fresh land using a "slash and burn" technique to clear the forest. Gold Mining Amazon contains alluvial gold deposits, this gold is found both in river channels and on the floodplains where rivers once ran. These Deposits are being mined by large-scale operators and illegal, smaller-scale miners. Miners are blasting away at river banks, clearing floodplain forests and using heavy machinery to expose potential gold-yielding deposits After fossil fuel burning, small-scale gold mining is the world's second largest source of mercury pollution contributing around 1/3 of the world's mercury pollution. Gold Mining Mercury Pollution Gold is usually extracted from this gravel using a sluice box to separate heavier sediment and mercury for amalgamating the precious metal. While most of the mercury is removed for reuse or burned off, most end up in rivers.

Studies have found that small-scale miners are less efficient with their use of Hg than industrial miners, releasing an estimated 2.91 pounds (1.32 kg) of mercury into waterways for every 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of gold produced. Along with this damage to the environment it produces numerous social problems, including drug trafficking, indentured labor, and child prostitution. The Amazon has a History of gold mining, being home to one of the largest gold mines, Serra Pelada Serra Pelada was a large gold mine in Brazil 430 km south of the mouth of the Amazon River.

This gold mine was established in the 1980s and was known for corruption having roughly 100,000 miners, making it one of the largest mines in the world.

Due to the large scale of unregulated mining it lead to tons of mercury are released to the environment. Images taken by Sebastião Salgado Deforestation is causing soil erosion, degradation and leaching of naturally occurring mercury (Hg). Studies by N. Mainville et al. (2006) show that deforested the soils are susceptible to significant and deleterious changes causing a reduction in soil fertility and limits cultivation productivity after clearing. They Found a decrease in the organic matter (-15% to-70% of C and N) and exchangeable cations (- 25%to- 60%) in deforested areas. Land clearing provokes considerable loss of soil Mercury.
This allows the Mercury to be free and can be transported towards aquatic ecosystems by rainfall and flooding. Mining processes exposes previously buried metal sulfides to atmospheric oxygen causing their conversion to strong sulfuric acid and metal oxides, which run off into local waterways. The soil erosion occurs easier and faster to exposed deforested areas and the Hg travels to the aquatic systems whereby it is converted to methylmercury (MeHg) by bacteria in the water.

MeHg is easily absorbed by aquatic organisms and stored in the muscle and gills of the fish.

Webb et al. (2004) examined the relationship between fish eating habits, human mercury levels, and mercury levels in fish in three communities of the Napo River Valley.

Amazonian riparian communities have been shown to possess Hg levels that are associated with fish consumption.

They found that two rural communities were found to have higher fish consumption and hair mercury levels (8.71 g/g and 5.32 g/g) as compared to an urban community (1.87 g/g).

The Hg can cause neurological damage when consumed humans. Leaching of Mercury into Rivers This Burning of the forest is destroying wildlife and increasing CO2 emissions Forest is losing its ability to stay green all year long as forest degradation and drought make it dangerously flammable. The Affected Everyone Decrease in 02
Increase in C02 emissons
Destroying a Unique Ecosystem Wildlife Native homeland is removed
Killed in forest fires
polluted air and water The most affected are the indigenous people of the area. Destroy their sacred land and way of life
Caused violence for many years in conflicts against ; large landowners, cattle ranchers, miners and loggers. Yanomani Indian tribe faced many conflicts complete isolation until the 1970s
Gold miners invaded their territory
Introduced diseases, like measles, tuberculosis, the flu, and malaria Population of 20,000 (1970s 9,000 (1997). Invaded their homeland
polluted there rivers and fish with mercury
Introduced arms to the tribes causing more violence in their inter-village disputes. Progress For Change Over 700 people killed defending forest and land rights in past ten years Instituto Brasileiro does Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA) Responsible for protection of the Amazon Rainforest.
Claimed to have elements of corruption
Ineffective or ill-equipped and outmatched Gold miners murdered Sister Dorothy Stang Brazilian government accelerated a crackdown on Deforestation Using Military forces and Satellite Technology to bring down illegal miners and loggers Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest has dropped to its lowest level in 24 years at 1,800 sq km in 2012 All Being destroyed by Deforestation Native tribes now have 26% percent of the Amazon basin protected for the indigenous population Increase Acidity of Water
Corrosive Any Questions ?
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