Phase 1 (DB2) Pt. 2 Environmental Science Instructions:
Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion please consider the following questions:
Select a student to reply to who has researched the topic that you did not and compare how your responses are similar and different.
Explore how international resources (like the Amazon Rainforest) pose different issues than resources located within the United States (like the Bridger Teton Forest). Did your peers discuss this?
How has your understanding of sustainability and stewardship changed by doing this assignment and reading your peers posts?
Response by Julie Ross
When it comes to deforestation the Amazon Rainforest is in dire trouble. Not only is there an increase in soy bean farming but there is also a struggle for cattle ranchers and loggers coming through the area. Many local have died in an effort to keep their land from those who are residents under forged documents. Local law enforcement and activists have attempted to thwart the deforestation but it keeps happening. The market force of globalization is hastening the demise of the forest due to people coming in and trying to make a profit off the forests natural resources.
The Forest Stewardship Council has put restrictions on how much cutting or logging can be done but not everyone follows the rules. Many have cut paths into deeper and denser forest who then later destroy the tracks to remove proof that they were there. The local farmers and wildlife are suffering greatly due to illegal logging and farming. The more forest that is cut down the more wildlife flees to the local farms. When soybean fields are planted on large scales the pesticides that are sprayed wafts to the neighboring farm lands. Those that reside there have reported poor health and their livestock have become ill and even died.
The Amazon Rainforest also produces half of its own annual rainfall by the moisture it produces. The more forest that is cut down decreases the amount of rainfall which makes the forest more prone to fires as well as many of the wildlife drying out and dying. Long term effects of deforestation can range anywhere from drought and wildlife death to the ecosystem unraveling all together. There is however a forest management strategy for the region.
This strategy implements a new district to expand mosaic of parks reserves and conservation units that together with indigenous territories forms the bulwark of defense against expansion of the frontier in the central Amazon. This has helped decrease deforestation by more than 30 percent. This is mostly due in part by the local Indian population. They patrol their borders and do not allow anyone to come onto the land to cut down trees or settle. As Stephan Schwartzman puts it Where Indian lands begin is where deforestation ends. (http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/last-of-amazon/#page=3)
I feel like the area can possibly be conserved if they were willing to leave the forest as it is now but I know that will most likely not happen. Putting restrictions on what can and cannot cut down or settled will only increase the amount of land that is devastated by those with illegal documents. Helping the local law enforcement in any way possible to enforce preservation of segments would be a great start but with resources spread everywhere else it will be a difficult task.
Scott Wallace Last of the Amazon republished from National Geographic
Ethical Corporation Magazine Certification: Forest Stewardship Council In need of a polish
Response by Shelby Goff
The Amazon Rainforest
Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest has been an ongoing issue for many years now. As population size rises the farmers are forces to cut into the forest for more land and resources more space is needed for civilization to live and goods/resources are taken from the forest to be sold to other countries. All the plant and wildlife in the rainforest are considered to be sustainable resources but the faster they are taken out of the ecosystem the faster the resource will be used up! It is important to come up with plans about the forestland. Which land is okay to farm and which lands will be kept off limits for use in the future. Deciding upon responsible use and protection of the land is called stewardship. The rainforest has a lot of untapped potential and should be protected by placing land in the hands of the government and slowing down the deforestation.
Through agroforestry and floodplain orchards outright destruction of rainforests can be avoided while improving economic efficiency and providing a source of income for rural poor. Says Rhett Butler author of Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Tropics. Agroforestry is a land management method that allows for trees to grow close to and even within farmland. This method would require less trees be removed in order to grow crops. Another idea is to take uncultivated land from large landowners and turn it over to poor farmers for use. This idea would also benefit the government because they would no longer have to reward these landowners for leaving their land unused.
Most farmers plant annual crops and continue to replant them when needed on their farm. However this strains the nutrients in the soil leading to these farmers using fertilizer or often going to the forest for better land. By adding perennials (crops that produce for multiple years) it would help the soil as well as bring in a variety of income for the farmers.
Butler also says: Agroforestry techniques can be applied on a larger scale using corridors of forest and a mixture of perennials and annuals. While management and harvesting costs generally increase these negatives could be outweighed by the value of income diversification soil protection maintenance of forest functions and preservation of biodiversity. In short by harvesting sustainable resources with a high speed of regrowth there will be less need to cut down the forest.
Butler R. (n.d.) Ststainable Agricultureal Development in the Tropics. Retrieved April 8 2015 from http://rainforests.mongabay.com/1002.htm”