Abstract

The Amazon is the largest rainforest on Earth, and covers up about 6% of the world. It is called the "Lungs of the World" because it gives us 20% of our oxygen. The rainforest contains half of the world's species of plants, animals, and insects. There are over 400 species of plants, around 500 mammal species, a huge amount of different types insects, and 175 types of lizards, along with 300 other reptile species. One fifth of the birds in the world live here. The Amazon takes up 60% of Brazil, and extends into Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.

Deforestation in the Amazon is a major environmental issue. The rainforest is being destroyed for many reasons, but mainly for cattle and pasture. About 65-70% of the total destruction is for cattle to grow. The raising of cattle is a major business in the Amazon region and many people rely on their cattle to make them money. 20-25% of the destruction is for small-scale agriculture, 5-10% is for large-scale agriculture, 2-3% is for logging wood, and 1-2% is for other reasons. The deforestation of this rainforest can be very dangerous for many reasons.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, the Amazon is called the "Lungs of the World". It captures CO2 and turns it into oxygen. If the trees get chopped down and destroyed, more CO2 would get into the atmosphere, which would cause global warming. CO2 is the greenhouse gas most responsible global warming. Global warming could lead to climate change, which in turn could lead to the death of humans and the extinction of plants and animals. Also, 70% of plants found with anticancer properties are found in rainforests. Scientists could cures for currently incurable diseases like AIDS. Scientists also have only studied under 1% of the plants in the Amazon because there are so many. If the rainforest is destroyed, we might not find cures for deadly diseases.

What can we do to protect the Amazon? First of all, we can ensure huge funds to prevent deforestation from occurring. Another thing we could do is to give money to poor people in the Amazon so they do not need to use as many farms. Also, organizations could rebuild and rehabilitate parts of the forest that have already been destroyed by replanting trees. There could also be more protected areas in the rainforest. The Brazilian Government could also have stricter laws against the illegal logging that is going on. Along with the stricter laws could be more serious punishments for breaking these laws. The future of the Amazon Rainforest is in our hands.