Amazon rainforest

Deforestation of the amazon

  • Jan 1, 1500

    beginings of deforestation

    beginings of deforestation
    Deforestation has been a feature of Amazonian landscape since long before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. Indeed, no forest in the region can be considered “virgin” in the sense of being unaffected by past human activities. Prior to decimation of their populations by disease and violence from the Europeans, indigenous peoples maintained extensive areas of agriculture and they enriched the surrounding forest with useful species such as Brazil nuts. These human influences would be merged wi
  • invention of the rubber tire

    invention of the rubber tire
    Deforestation in Amazonia has proceeded with a succession of different forces in different periods. The Amazon rubber boom lasted from the invention of the pneumatic tire in the 1880s to the beginning of commercial rubber production from plantations in Southeast Asia in 1914. During this period “agricultural colonies” such as those in the 35,000-square-kilometer (km2) Zona Bragantina near Belém, in the state of Pará, supplied the rapidly growing urban centers, and, to a certain extent, the popul
  • deforestation in Brazil

    deforestation in Brazil
    In Brazil, deforestation over the course of several centuries destroyed the Atlantic forest of the south-central part of the country (note: the names of Brazil’s regions treat Rio de Janeiro as the “center” of the country). The pace of clearing was especially dramatic in the case of state of Paraná, where the forest was almost completely cleared in less than 30 years in the middle of the 20th century. At the beginning of this period prominent citizens frequently made statements to the effect tha
  • transamazon highway

    transamazon highway
    More recent clearing surges occurred with the opening of the Belém-Brasília Highway in the late 1950s, and especially the Transamazon Highway in 1970 (the event often taken as the beginning of the “modern” period of Amazonian clearing). The Transamazon Highway was settled by small farmers, many of whom were brought from other parts of Brazil by the federal government and settled in official colonization projects.
  • government

    Although the government incentives programs of the 1970s and 1980s have been either discontinued or have diminished in importance, government infrastructure investment and agricultural credit continue to encourage clearing. Logging has a key role in serving as a source of funds for landholders to pay for deforestation
  • future path

    future path
    The future path of deforestation depends on human decisions. It is not foreordained that the Amazon forest will be destroyed, although this is obviously the endpoint if present trends continue unchanged. Various modeling efforts have projected clearing patterns in Amazonia and agree that vast areas would be cleared if trends continue and planned infrastruture projects are built. Attempts to model what might happen under hypothetical “governance” scenarios are less convincing, since they rely on