The world is filled with natural wonders that have been around for centuries. They often served as extensive ecosystems where various species thrived and coexisted (not always peacefully) for years. But as modern advancements continue to flourish, it has a negative impact on the natural world as technology takes the place of what used to be natural spaces, thereby displacing many animal species, contributing to pollution, and increasing our carbon footprint that hastens climate change. It’s a problem many folks are talking about.
Skyscrapers are all over big cities right now. Even nearby suburbs are transformed into sprawling residential communities to accommodate the world’s growing population. The need for natural and energy resources increases because there are more mouths to feed now, etc. But there are last frontiers that remain untarnished by modern living. They are often rainforest tucked away from the public and continue to provide food and shelter to different animals that you might not have even set sight on even in zoos. The Amazon is among the first to come to mind. One can only picture out snakelike rivers and lush trees and vegetations when they hear the word Amazon.
Norway has issued a blunt threat to Brazil that if rising deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is not reversed, its billion-dollar financial assistance will fall to zero. The leaders of the two nations meet in Oslo on Friday.
The oil-rich Scandinavian nation has provided $1.1bn to Brazil’s Amazon fund since 2008, tied to reductions in the rate of deforestation in the world’s greatest rainforest. The destruction of forests by timber and farming industries is a major contributor to the carbon emissions that drive climate change and Norway views protecting the Amazon as vital for the whole world.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon fell steadily from 2008 to 2014, an “impressive achievement” which had a “very positive impact” on Brazil and the world, according to Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister.
Unfortunately, the Amazon has been suffering in silence because of irresponsible human activities. Deforestation by the farming and timber industries is a big problem for all because they not only cut down trees but increase carbon emission that fuels global warming. We can’t afford to lose more natural spaces in the name of progress or not care about the state of the environment and treat it like a big dump because it is us who will eventually suffer.
To meet energy needs, economic developers in South America have proposed 428 hydroelectric dams, with 140 currently built or under construction, in the Amazon basin—the largest and most complex network of river channels in the world, which sustains the highest biodiversity on Earth. The rivers and surrounding forests are the source of 20 percent of the planet’s fresh water and valuable ingredients used in modern medicine.
While these hydroelectric dams have been justified for providing renewable energy and avoiding carbon emissions, little attention has been paid to the major disturbances dams present to the Amazon floodplains, rainforests, the northeast coast of South America and the regional climate, the researchers said.
Rivers in the Amazon basin move like a dance, exchanging sediments across continental distances to deliver nutrients to “a mosaic of wetlands,” said Edgardo Latrubesse, UT Austin geography and the environment professor and lead author of the study. Sediment transported by rivers provides nutrients that sustain wildlife, contribute to the regional food supplies and modulate river dynamics that result in high habitat and biotic diversity for both aquatic and nonaquatic organisms.
Amazon is actually in a vulnerable state right now because there are various threats to its existence. From deforestation, poaching, and now the presence of these dams can mess up Amazon’s natural order and impact various animals that thrive in the area. Mother Nature may eventually strike back at us if we don’t protect the environment while we still can.
But despite our best interests, let us not forget that whatever protective measures we adopt should be well-integrated to disrupt as little of the natural system as possible and let nature run its course. The more we intervene, the worse it is for the environment and everyone else living in it. To limit the damage, let us educate everyone about environment-friendly approaches they can adopt in their everyday lives to reduce the injury the planet has to endure.