By: A. C. Estefan
Brazil is famous for its extraordinary biodiversity and ecosystems, sheltering a remarkable array of flora and fauna. The Amazon Rainforest covers 40% of the country’s territory and is the home of roughly 10% of all wildlife species known to man, making it a true spectacle of nature. Also known as “the world's medicine cabinet” and "the lungs of the Earth", the Rainforest is not only valued for its biodiversity but also for its pivotal role in global climate regulation and the overall health of the Earth, making it a powerful determinant of how our world will be like in the future. However, over the past years, the Brazilian ecosystem has been severely violated and has faced issues in its preservation, which presents a serious hazard to the environment and the world.
One of the main issues faced by Brazil is the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, being it due to logging, cattle ranching, soybean farming, agricultural expansion, or infrastructure development. This results in the disruption of ecosystem services, loss of medicinal discoveries, climate feedback loops, cultural erosion and biodiversity loss beyond borders. This is an issue that severely worries governments and activists all over the world, and although it has indeed faced a slight decrease in comparison to a few years ago, forests are still burning at a worrying rate.
What are the possible outcomes of not properly preserving Brazil’s ecosystem?
Disrupting the balance of the Brazilian ecosystem could trigger a chain reaction of negative effects. For instance, the loss of certain species might lead to the extinction of others, resulting in ecological imbalances that could impact the entire food web. Furthermore, harming the Rainforest could damage its capacity to take in carbon dioxide, potentially increasing global warming and resulting in more frequent and intense climate-related events and climate change. Moreover, the impact of this goes far beyond the weather and wildlife; failing to properly preserve the area would mean that communities would lose the natural buffer that is a healthy ecosystem against natural disasters such as floods and landslides, making them more vulnerable to these events. Additionally, harming the Brazilian ecosystem may also lead to the loss of habitat of many indigenous tribes, many of which possess centuries of tradition and culture that are invaluable to the country and the world.
How is it being preserved?
Measures to protect the Brazilian ecosystem have been initiated as the government becomes more alarmed by the possible outcomes the lack of preservation could bring. Notably, Brazil has made potentially harmful human activities illegal in a large part of the Amazon, imposing strict regulations to safeguard critical habitats and the species that depend on them. Indigenous communities also take part in protecting the land by utilizing traditional knowledge and sustainable practices to manage their territories effectively. Furthermore, there was the recent addition of innovative satellite technology to constantly scan the vast landscape, enabling real-time monitoring of deforestation, land use changes, and fires. This early detection system allows for quick intervention to protect against illegal activities and prevent further harm to the ecosystem, which is extremely helpful when it comes to enforcing regulations to protect the area.
It is indisputable that the Brazilian ecosystem is extremely important to the entire world, playing a crucial part in the global biodiversity and ecological balance. Its extraordinary richness goes beyond the national scale and contributes to the well-being of the entire planet. Hence, it is imperative that all are made aware of the dangers faced by the Amazon Rainforest, which encompass ecological, social and economic dimensions, and contribute towards preserving it and therefore protecting the future of the Earth.