The Amazonian Magazine
Colombias Real Wars
Spanish Conquest & Deforestation The Colombian government attempted to create political peace, Sparks a global environmental disaster.
Since the peace agreement thousands of acres of rainforest formally controlled by the FARC has been destroyed for industry, farming & cattle, makes up the largest area of deforestation in the Amazon as a whole.NEW WAR - THE AMERINDIAN TRIBES HAVE STARTED FIGHTING THE LOGGERS - THE WORLD IS WATCHING
The Colombian government attempted to create political peace and in response, an environmental disaster sparked. Throughout the past two years, deforestation in Colombia has been a growing problem due to the increase of illegal mining, logging, and cattle ranching. This issue has been created and catered by humans and is impacting not only Colombia, but all of the Amazon Rainforest and the entire globe. There are many efforts to combat the growing issue of deforestation, but there is no definite solution yet.
Deforestation has tripled since 2016, thousands of square miles of trees are gone. The reasoning behind this recent spike in deforestation in the area is due to the FARC agreeing to disarm and demobilize to camps in an effort to create peace in the area. The most concentrated area that is being impacted was controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia also referred to as (FARC). This group has been an illegally armed terrorizing group for many years that were fighting against the Colombian government. Aside from the illegal mining and planting of raw materials used in cocaine, the areas that they controlled had strict regulations on the number of trees allowed to be cut down to ensure protection from government air raids.
Current Issue Since the FARC was disarmed and demobilized to camps, no one holds enough power to control the formerly controlled areas nor protect the number of trees that are being cut down. With no one to protect the area, people go in and illegally making space for mining, ranching, and planting crops. In an effort to create political peace in Colombia, a massive environmental problem has aroused and has sparked the desire for peace of all kinds in the area.
This formally controlled area by FARC makes up the Amazon Rainforest that runs through Colombia. Which contributes to the deforestation of the Amazon as a whole.Global Impact Deforestation can impact the process of global warming. The trees absorb a significant amount of greenhouse gases and therefore, without the trees there to absorb the gases, they are released into the atmosphere and deteriorate the ozone layer which causes the process of global warming. Trees also play a large role in the water cycle, in transpiration, which is when the trees absorb water and release it back into the atmosphere before condensation. The Amazon rainforest as a whole is incredibly important in balancing the atmospheric carbon levels. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen that humans can breath. Just the Amazon alone absorbs 100 billion tons of carbon for the whole entire earth. Without those trees there is too much carbon dioxide in the air which results in air pollution; for example, acid rain, greenhouse gases, and climate change.
This video explains briefly the impact that trees have on the environment, the effects of deforestation, and some simple small scale solutions.
National Impact A large immediate impact of deforestation is the loss of habit for native animals in the forest. The Amazon rainforest contains 10% of all the worlds plants and animals; 40,000 species of plants and over 400 mammals, 1,300 birds, and almost one million insects! The deforestation of this rainforest threatens all of those plants and species existence. In addition to the lack of habitats, without the refreshing shade provided by trees, the moisture in the soil is dried up making it hard to yield beneficial crops. Specifically in Colombia, the deforestation is giving an opportunity for people to have a place for drug trafficking, illegal logging and mining. This environmental disaster is the result of attempted peace, but has now left the residents in the effected areas nervous for the people who are bringing in illegal activity.
TRIBES FIGHT TO TRY AND SAVE THE RAINFOREST
This image is of an Amazon tribe battling illegal loggers to protect their area of the rainforest.
Solutions In efforts to combat the deforestation, Norway has donated $3.5 million to create a program that reaches out to former FARC members and hire them to protect the forest and to report any illegal logging, farming, or mining. This solution is still in progress and is hoped to at least provide some stability in preserving the trees. There are also some organizations that have dedicated their resources to raising money and promote the issue. An example of one of these organizations is called Greenpeace. Greenpeace has committed to raising money to support research for a permanent solution, while also focusing on educating the world of the severity of deforestation and the lingering impacts that it will produce. Another solution has been the Colombia Environmental Protection Agency (CORNARE) which pays roughly 3,000 families a very small amount that equals to $200 American dollars to living and farm more organically and preserve the impacts on the environment. This program is planning to triple and quadruple in the next 5 years. There are no concrete solutions to the problem of deforestation, but all around the world researchers and working together to find one.
The map to the right displays 3 forest reserves that have been established by CORNARE and NCI in order to protect the habitat living strictly in those locations while also preventing more deforestation in those parts
In Conclusion The deforestation in Colombia and the Amazon Rainforest are very serious issues that are impacting the whole world. The environmental issue is one that was created by humans cutting down excessive amounts of trees without properly replacing what they took. It was never the intentions of the Colombian government for this to happen, but in efforts of creating political peace with FARC, left the forrest unprotected from drug traffickers, illegal loggers, and miners. In an effort to help the issue that was created by humans, they are training people to track and report anything illegal in the effected areas, while also hoping to find a permanent solution for political and environmental peace. The unwatched people who have left the rainforest how it is today were economically motivated in that they more than likely in need of making money for one reason or another. The deforestation in Colombia is a critical issue for there are many consequences, but one day there will be a lasting solution to undo what humans did.
References “Amazon Rainforest.” Greenpeace International, www.greenpeace.org/usa/forests/amazon-rainforest/.
Brodzinsky, Sibylla. “Deforestation Soars in Colombia after Farc Rebels' Demobilization.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2017, www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/11/colombia-deforestation-farc.
“Deforestation and Its Effect on the Planet.” National Geographic, National Geographic, 25 July 2017, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/.
“Deforestation Fronts.” WWF, wwf.panda.org/our_work/forests/deforestation_fronts/.
“In 2015: Four New Reserves Declared in Colombia Preserving over 170,000 Acres.” Nature and Culture International, 22 Jan. 2016, natureandculture.org/four-new-reserves-declared-in-colombia/.
Reardon, Sara. “FARC and the Forest: Peace Is Destroying Colombia's Jungle - and Opening It to Science.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 12 June 2018, www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05397-2.
Rogers, Chris Dinesen. “The Effects of Carbon Dioxide on Air Pollution.” Sciencing.com, Sciencing, 9 Jan. 2018, sciencing.com/list-5921485-effects-carbon-dioxide-air-pollution.html.