UBC Undergraduate Research

Cattle ranching and soybean cultivation as drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, and on-going policy responses Cao, Siyu


Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon causes reduction of tropical forest, loss of genetic resources and biodiversity, as well as the decreasing ability of carbon sequestration. It owned the name of “the lungs of the world”, because it can help regulate the climate change, maintain carbon stocks and provided fresh oxygen. However, 20% of these areas have gone forever due to different social, political and economic purposes, especially the development of cattle ranching and soybean industry. With the development of exports and imports, the job opportunities in related industry are provided, and construction of infrastructures benefits the local people, in order to improve the living quality. Adversely, the destruction is gong along. The disturbance of ecosystems, the water contamination, the increasing fire risk and lost homeland for indigenous people never stop. Furthermore, the latent lost can’t be recorded and calculated, such as the extinction of species (Blue Planet Biomes, 2003). Comprehensive understanding of the causes and outcomes of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon will be helpful to make appropriate management decisions.

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