China Now Eating the Amazon Rainforest

Now that China is Brazil’s main trading partner, it significantly influences what happens in the Amazon forest – an important ecosystem for stabilizing global climate – and the attempts to protect that ecosystem, reports Jan Rocha at Climate News Network. The Amazon basin is now China’s primary supplier of natural resources, replacing China’s Asian neighbours as their resources have become depleted. China’s voracious demand for iron ore, aluminum, timber, soy and beef, both fuels deforestation and discourages Brazil’s environmental protection laws, says a new study. Study authors found that “the rapid rise in exports of soy and beef products to China are two of the major drivers of Amazonian deforestation in Brazil”. Chinese purchases of agricultural and forest land, and Chinese financing and investment in Amazonian infrastructure such as railways and mineral processing facilities, also cause environmental impacts in the Amazon, which has already shrunk significantly from past deforestation and now droughts. The authors say the “direct impact of commodity exports is only the tip of the iceberg of Chinese influence on Amazonia.” As Brazilian agribusiness prospers, it has, in turn, successfully pressured lawmakers to further weaken forest protection laws.

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

Source

How Beijing is shaping the Amazon February 21, 2013 Brazil’s attempts to protect its Amazon rainforest are now subject to influence from the country’s new main trading partner, China, with far-reaching physical and political consequences. http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/02/how-beijing-is-shaping-the-amazon/

The study: Amazonian forest loss and the long reach of China’s Influence¹, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10668-012-9412-2

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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