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The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest or simply Amazonia is a tropical rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America. The area known as Amazonia is over 7 million km² (about 1.75 billion acres), although the forested area occupies about 5.5 million. This forest is located for about 65% of the territory in Brazil, but also extends to Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.
The Amazon forest is home to a very rich biodiversity, and huge resources of fresh water. Not only do they play a fundamental role in the conservation of biodiversity worldwide, but they also provide essential ecological services like real carbon sinks.
The etymology of the term Amazonia derives from the written report by the chaplain of the Gaspar de Carvajal expedition on April 22, 1542. These in the diary of his journey in the Amazon, tells that the Spaniards fought against the Tapuyas, a tribe in which women also militated. Thus Francisco de Orellana called the river Rio delle Amazzoni, because the warrior women reminded him of the ancient Amazons of Asia and Africa, described by Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, in Greek mythology.

In recent years, the resources of the Amazon have diversified. However, small communities and indigenous groups continue to remain tied to the exploitation of the forest and waterways, but in increasingly larger areas they practice agriculture, livestock, mining, mining of minerals and hydrocarbons.
Unfortunately, the greatest concern for this immense reservoir of nature is deforestation. Unfortunately, more than a fifth of the forest has already been destroyed and the whole ecosystem remains in danger. Deforestation began in the 1940s when governments in the region decided to exploit forest and mining resources. Over the years, numerous highways were built to connect large cities, which not only were primary sources of deforestation but also encouraged the construction of new villages along them, worsening the problem. The removal of the forest area in addition to drastically decreasing the planetary biodiversity and its services has significant implications in the greenhouse effect, and is one of the main parameters on which we build the models for global warming of the planet. Only at the beginning of the 21st century deforestation reduced by 70%. The effects of this decrease are mainly due to political actions. In fact, until 2004, a law tried to impose on farmers and ranchers to consider reserve 80% of their properties, but it was not respected. In a second time (from 2005 to 2009) there were various factors, among which: greater police controls; decrease in soybean gains (grown in the Amazon); environmental campaigns and boycotting of companies responsible for deforestation. Finally, from 2009 to today, even if soy oil gains have resumed, the government has established a credit policy for the Amazon: farmers and farmers in the worst areas have been excluded from low-cost credit until deforestation has declined.
There remains a lot to do and above all make it clear to all Governments that the greatest wellbeing of Humanity derives precisely from the services that nature can provide.

Guido Bissanti

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