Yvan Marzin

L'Amazonie est traversée par le plus grand fleuve du monde, l'Amazone (7200 km de longueur)

Amazonia: Sad report

 

Le Jaguar, un des emblèmes de l'Amazonie

 

 

 Amazonie : le triste constat

nature, environnement, écologie, bio, vertAmazonie : le triste constat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La transamazonienne

By Catherine bourgeois for Terre Sacrée - the 16th of May 2005

________________________

 

         Brazil, Surinam, French Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Equator, Peru and Bolivia share the biggest tropical forest of the planet, also called Amazonian forest, which covers roughly 9139 million acres (3.7 million square kilometers). Brazil possesses the biggest part even if the majority of the Amazonian inhabitants mainly live in Peru and Equator.

         The biggest world river of 4475 miles long (7200 kilometers), Amazon, crosses Amazonian forest.

         For the overall Amazonian territory 698252 Amerindians have been counted until now (1). It has been difficult to carry out this counting because some of those ethnic groups are either fully hostile to any contact with foreigners or simply refuse it.

         The biggest tragedy of this world region still begins in 1970 when the Brazilian government decides to take into account the Amazonian forest as a part of the Brazilian national territory with the launch of the Trans-Amazonian road project. (2610 miles - 4200 kilometers of roads, which cannot be used during the long rain season.)

         These roads will play a key role in the colonization process (both in the agricultural sense and in the development of bovine breeding), in the exploitation of exportable primary resources especially towards France, USA, United Kingdom, Japan and in the use at the national level of primary resources of poorer quality.

         Amazonian territory has been spoiled, burnt and reduced with a relentless persistence pushing deeply inwards the Amazonian forest the different ethnic groups, destroying progressively the biodiversity enabling biosphere organization and affecting the biocenose equilibrium.  Those two last words mean all the living organisms, which constitute the ecosystem.

         Despite any kind of warnings and interventions including those of NGO's such as Rainforest International or Raoni Fondation (Raoni is the chief of the Kayapo tribe and has been promoted by the singer Sting in 1989 and 2000) Amazonian forest is being dangerously threatened. The disappearing of the so called �€˜''green lung of the planet'' will induce serious consequence for the overall planet.

         Today, some ethnic groups such as Kayapo or Mebêngokre (literally �€˜'people of the waterhole'') tribes are coming in the forefront of the international spotlights and do not hesitate to move abroad like in France (Choisy le Roi on the next 21st and 22nd May). They take the opportunity of the water feast (Oh) in order with help of their interventions to fight for the preservation and also to fight against the destruction to a large scale by the civilization of their natural environment, which consequences are as follows: deforestation, colonization, land monopolizing ...... and so on.

         Present estimates show a destruction of the Amazonian forest in the range of 14.3 million acres per year (5.8 million hectares). This deforestation is in progress each year and the scientific studies establish that the regeneration cycle varying from 25 to 30 years is still not respected.

Today, some scientists say that carbon balance of the Amazonian forest could become positive in the near future. That means the �€˜'green lung of the planet'' would become a pure emitter of green house gas (GHG). Hundreds of million cubic meters of GHG presently rejected each year in the atmosphere mainly due to Amazonian forest clearing are almost fully reabsorbed by itself. This equilibrium will be surely compromised if more and more important forest surfaces are cut and fertilized by fire-clearing cultivation.

(1) Population distribution in the Amazonian forest:

State

Indigenous population

Ethnic group number

Mean value for each ethnic group

Population density in square kilometer

 

Bolivia

113174

26

4353

0.16

Brazil

145132

92

1580

0.02

Colombia

80431

24

3350

0.12

Equator

47500

7

6780

0.36

Guyana

35360

7

5050

0.16

French Guyana

4194

6

700

0.04

Peru

178471

45

3970

0.24

Surinam

9303

4

2320

0.05

Venezuela

84677

19

4460

0.14

 

Total

698252

182

3618

0.16

 

See :http://www.ulb.ac.be/
 

         Total is 698252 Amerindians for the overall Amazonian forest. This figure may seem small but it shows in its crudity the drastic population reduction since the XVIth century. At that time the population estimate was 6.8 million people (Denevan, 1977). However, this figure is in steep progression since the years 1950. For instance, the indigenous population of the whole Brazil (including regions, which are not taken into account here) estimated by D. Ribeiro (1979) in 1957 at a level of 99700 people is now at a level of 228000 people (Aconteceu, 1986). Even if we take into account there was a lack of information on the counting at that time, especially for some groups, which were not approached by civilization, we are still facing a steep demographical increase.

(2)Sources: United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); Global and Resource information database, Grid, Geneva, Switzerland, Grid-Arendal, Norway. (from Le Monde Diplomatique).

 

Translation proposed by: gaultier_philippe@hotmail.com on the 28th of November 2005.

 

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