Environmental Problems



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BURNING DOWN THE AMAZON

Scorched earth

In 2013, clearing practices were intensified again in Brazil’s rainforest. At the World Climate Summit in Warsaw, Brazil’s environment minister Izabella Teixeira admitted that by November this year, some 5,843 square kilometers of forest had been cut down. 2012 saw a loss of 4,571 square kilometers. In 2004, some 27,000 square kilometers went up in flames – a global negative record.


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3. Species extinction.

Problem: On land, wild animals are being hunted to extinction for bushmeat, ivory, or "medicinal" products. At sea, huge industrial fishing boats equipped with bottom-trawling or purse-seine nets clean out entire fish populations. The loss and destruction of habitat are also major factors contributing to a wave of extinction - unprecedented in that it is caused by a single species: humans. The IUCN's Red List of threatened and endangered species continues to grow.

Not only do species inherently deserve to exist, they also provide products and "services" essential to human survival. Think bees and their pollinating prowess - necessary for growing food.



Solutions: Concerted efforts need to be made to prevent further loss of biodiversity. Protecting and restoring habitats is one side of this - protecting against poaching and wildlife trade is another. This should be done in partnership with locals, so that wildlife conservation is in their social and economic interest.

Picture gallery: Looming extinction crisis 




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