Deforestation Essay Example


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Deforestation in Brazil

Deforestation Essay: Introduction

Greenfield is one of the most substantial factors that keep living creatures alive in our world, and the Amazon rainforest is the largest green field. %60 percent of the land is located in Brazil (“Deforestation in Amazon,” 2020). As most of the community in the world know the importance of these forests, everyone should follow the news about them. Deforestation of Amazon in Brazil has been a huge problem for more than 40 years (“Deforestation in Amazon,” 2020). First, natives started to cut the trees then the governments. Right-wing extremist leader Jair Bolsonaro accelerated the deforestation process after becoming the President in 2019 and drawing a reaction from the international community. Amazon rainforests have hosted many species since the world took away the modern shape of it. One-fifth of the oxygen the people breathe and %20 percent of freshwater the people drink form in Amazon rainforests (“Deforestation in Amazon Rainforest,” 2019). Nearly half of the species in the whole world live in the Amazon rainforest. This forest is essential not only for human beings but also for other living creatures.

Body Paragraphs

The first wave of deforestation started in the 1970s. Brazil's military regime saw Amazon as a huge opportunity for profit in those years. Almost 5 million square kilometers were full of natural resources. Most of those natural resources were unreachable, so the government built 3200 kilometers long Trans-Amazon Highway to access these fruitful natural resources (“Deforestation in Amazon,” 2020). Many people living in major cities, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, were incentivized to cultivate the land and grow the country's economy. They were offered free land and paid to go deeper into the rainforests, so they started to settle along the highway. These newly settled people started to turn land into a pasture to raise cows and sell them as beef. They continually did this process, seized another part of the forest, and turned it into a pasture.

This expansion went into deeper Amazon, and deforestation went out of control. Between 1978 and 1988, an average of 20.000 square kilometers was cut down each year (Rigby, 2020). When it is thought of as total, it was 200.000 square kilometers, which were erased. The farmers had used to do it to raise animals and sell beef. People in the world started to eat more and more meat, and this demand caused a huge demand for soybeans, which are acted as a high-protein feed for farmed animals. This opportunity could not be unnoticed by Brazil because of their huge uncultivated rainforest, which could be used in soybean production.

Brazil has been the second-largest soybean producer in the world after the demand for it raised (Rigby, 2020). The main cause of deforestation in Amazon changed in the 1990s. At first, the military government set the people from major cities along Trans-Amazon Highway to raise livestock and sell them as beef, but in the 1990s, continued demand on soybeans made Brazil go further into the rainforest to set soybean farms and produce it. The international community finally started to put intense pressure on Brazil by attracting attention to the deforestation of Amazon in the early 2000s. Various studies tried to attract attention by mapping the deforestation caused by soybean production (Rigby, 2020). Some studies also revealed that carbon emissions from deforestation contributed to global climate change (Rigby, 2020). Soy also contributes to the contamination of water in some essential waterways because it uses a great number of agrochemicals. So the international community realized that the danger of deforestation would affect not only Brazil but also the whole planet. Environmental groups made huge protests both in Brazil and the world, so the President of Brazil in 2003 Lula da Silva decided to step in.

First, the government expanded the amount of rainforest under protection. Furthermore, more land was given under the control of indigenous people who preserved the forest. Over time, many protected lands added to this rescue plan. Nearly half of the Amazon was under protection by 2012, whereas the rest of it remained as a mix of pasture, farms, and rainforest. To restrain from any further deforestation, the government empowered the Forest Code, which was implemented in 1965 and allowed the landowners only to use %20 of their private lands (Rigby, 2020). Finally, the government strengthened the police department named IBAMA, which fights against illegal deforestation in Amazon. The plan brought good results. The deforestation rates fell more than half in 2006. But it would not last long.

Deforestation started to slow down under the control of the government of President Lula da Silva. Income continued to increase inversely proportional way thanks to advanced technological developments and efficient techniques in the field of agriculture and livestock. But there were also the ones who wanted to get more profit from the rainforests. The ruralistas, which are the conservative advocates of the agricultural industry, gained power year by year. In 2003 they had only %17 of seats in Congress. Still, when it came to 2012, their power was strengthened to have enough power to push President Dilma Roussef to weaken the Forest Code (“Deforestation in Amazon Rainforests,” 2019). This act allowed landowners to get away with clearing more land. In 2016, the ruralistas forced President Michel Temer to cut out IBAMA's budget (“Deforestation in Amazon,” 2020). These changes encouraged some people to seize the lands in the rainforest and clear it again. These acts caused an ascent in deforestation again. In 2019, a right-wing politician and ally to ruralistas Jair Bolsonaro won the presidential elections. He worked in a very systematic way to weaken the Environmental Ministry and revolved the forest service that monitors the Forest Code to the Agricultural Ministry, which is ruled by a ruralista. Under Bolsonaro's control, deforestation visually increased in 2019, and most of it took place in the protected areas, which was strengthened by former president Lula da Silva. In August of 2019, there were 30.000 fires in Amazon, which were set by farmers, ranchers, and landowners who were encouraged by the new government's policy on Amazon. The protests from international and Brazilian communities started because many people thought that a man's policy on the environment could destroy the world.

Deforestation Essay: Conclusion

In conclusion, deforestation has been a huge problem for the entire world for more than 40 years, and it is still going on. The whole global community should fight for preserving it inasmuch as the Amazon is the vital point to preserve our beloved planet. Everyone wants to live in a better world, but we cannot make a better life for ourselves without green fields like the Amazon rainforest.


Deforestation in the Amazon. (2020.).

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. (2019). Retrieved April 25, 2020,

Rigby, S. (2020, April 7). Amazon rainforest could take only 50 years to collapse, study suggests.

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