Deforestation in the Amazon


Evan Fernandez

The various governments in charge of areas inside the Amazon forest need to fix infrastructure and offer jobs to the people that live around the forest. Doing so will help limit the number of people helping to cut down trees and kill animals and endangered species. Unsupervised burning and livestock continue to ruin the terrain within the forests, making it harder for the forest to regrow and sustain itself.

Evan Fernandez, Reporter

Deforestation reached a record high in the Amazon Rainforest in the last 7 years. Deforestation continues as a problem with several doable solutions since the 1900s, resulting in pollution and the destruction of habitats and homes. The size of the Amazon has decreased by 20% since 1970 alone, with that percentage continuing to increase. Lumberjacks within the area use several techniques to cut down the trees, such as slash-and-burn agriculture for smaller brush and small trees, clear-cutting with massive machinery and selective lodging.

Poor infrastructure from inaccessibility into the Amazon left the people that reside there desperate for resources and money. Lodging and cutting down vast amounts of trees can act as an easy way for people to make money. However, the destruction of habitats has led to the extinction of several species of animals including, Spix’s Macaw which inspired the 2011 film, Rio.

“Deforestation and the mass loss of animal life it causes saddens me. I understand it’s an easy way to make money and to make a living in the impoverished communities surrounding and inside the Amazon, but that just means the governments need to work on infrastructure and provide better career and job opportunities for the people living in those areas,” freshman Will Tyler said.

Different groups and organizations dedicated themselves to restoring the forest and helping endangered species. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) works in over 100 different countries to try and save these endangered species. As one of the largest wildlife conservation organizations, it receives millions of donations and membership applications. Another organization, Amazon Watch, devoted itself to funding anti-Deforestation efforts and beginning to try and rebuild the Amazon. 

“Deforestation in the Amazon is a huge problem and it needs to be stopped. If you look at how much people have cut down in the past 100 years, you can see the change in biodiversity and the size of the Amazon. More people need to be aware of deforestation and the consequences that can appear from continuing to letting it happen,” sophomore Jojo Dodds said.

Unchecked agriculture, like overgrazing from livestock and fires, also contributes to deforestation. The unsupervised grazing of sheep ruins the land making it harder for trees and other plants to regrow. Fires also destroyed vast amounts of forests. The inaccessibility of the rainforest makes it hard for people to intervene and try and stop the fires, which means the fires will rage until a natural cause stops it.