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Eating the rainforest

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Jungle2.jpgWith global problems like hunger, wars and environmental destruction it is hard to prioritize. All those things are important and a priority. But what if one leads to another?

Recently, the governor of a Brazilian farming province was quoted saying that more of the Amazon rain forest should be cut down to provide farmland for food production. Brazil's largest producer of soy, Blairo Maggi, went even further by saying there is no way to produce more food without taking down more trees.

In recent years, Brazil became a major food supplier, especially of foods like soybean and beef. However, the demand for food that Brazil has been trying to fill has lead to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. The rainforest represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and is the largest and most species-rich region of tropical rainforest in the world.

Maybe I am an old-fashioned environmentalist, but I do believe in alternatives. While technology is not always good for the planet we live on, this is one of the cases where technology can play a positive role. It can help recover the degraded part of the forest, instead of cutting down more trees. Technology can also help farmers around the world to farm sustainably in the areas that don't have forests in them and have not been used for farming in the past.

The destruction of Amazon rainforest will result in the loss of biodiversity, as well as accelerate global warming. Its presence is beneficial for the whole world, not just Brazil and in this globalized world all must work together.