Sustained Argument: To What Extent Should The Amazon Be Allowed To Use The Amazon For Profit?

In the last decades the environmental security of Latin America’s Amazon has been in a rapid decline due to unfair business implications. There has been a constant decline in our planet’s forests for over two decades now. Specifically, in Latin America where one quarter of the world’s total of forests lie. The depletion of natural resources for those who inhabit the amazon directly as their only way of life is alarming and immoral. The biodiversity of human communities, plants, and animals has been diminishing due to the harmful effects that these businesses cause; an exploitation of natural resources. The strategy that these businesses developed, sustainable development ways of exploiting natural resources with promises to regrow the resources is a scam. Especially now, more than ever with our new president who doesn’t believe in global warming or taking any action to protect our world’s environment, we need to fight back and stand up together to protest to communities and legislators to make laws that stop any form of business being done in the amazon. Under no circumstances should businesses be allowed to use the amazon for profit.

According to the Bruntland report, made by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, the definition for sustainable development is said to be ‘’to satisfy the needs of the current generation in such a way as not to endanger the satisfaction of the needs of future generations and the development of future generations.” The communities in Latin America have been taking a stand to the government by pushing for the implication of laws to protect the amazon as well as speaking out to the public to educate those who aren’t aware of the lethal business going on. To be more specific, the organization Acción Ecológica, as of recently there has been a lot of heat with Acción Ecológica versus the government. The government has been trying to shut down the organization for the past 10 years due to their high successes of keeping an honest fight with moral. For a second time, last year, “the Vice-Minister for Internal Security, Diego Torres Saldaña, requested the Minister of Environment, Walter Garcia Cedeño, to initiate the process to immediately dissolve Acción Ecológica” (frontlinedefenders). The second order to dissolve the organization was called upon after their recent launch of “the creation of an Environmental Truth Commission to investigate environmental destruction and violations of the rights of indigenous communities.” It seems as when this organization gets closer to revealing the truth behind the shady business the rainforest is used for, resulting in its vast decline, is when the government calls a stop. Acción Ecológica has been around fighting for the the amazon for over 30 years now. This organization is much more than just a way to save the forest, this organization fights for the rights of humans that the amazon provides them with. The President of Acción Ecológica, Esperanza Martínez, stated, “This isn’t just about defending nature or land, but the right to participate, the right to work together, the right to protest, the right to speak.” The people in this organization speak out and protest to the government to give better protection for the amazon and its people. They speak out on the truths behind the ruined forest for selfish profit done by (illegal) businesses elsewhere. As of today, the government still has not been able to shut down this organization because their work is in fact, truthful and peaceful.

The companies who practice sustainable development using the amazon for profit like the timber industry and energy industry, where the competition abstains from using sustainable production methods and where the companies that do rely heavily on the natural resources are leaving permanent damage. In my earlier research on this topic I came across a documentary called Chevron Vs. the Amazon by Abby Martin. She explains the lethal damage a company called Texaco had on the amazon even since the decade 2000, which is only one of the many companies who have immorally used the amazon for profit. She reveals the real tragedy behind Texaco gruesome act of their oil extraction wells in the amazon. She revealed Texaco’s intentional spilling of 19 billion gallons of contaminated oil filled with waste water into the amazons habitat; Texaco’s cheap maximizing technique due to their ban in the U.S. Abby shows us the permanent damage that Texaco made to Ecuador’s habitats in the amazon with all the oil wells that went hundreds of feet into the soil of the amazon. Abby explains that Texaco built 344 oil pits creating 1200 pools of waste left to rot and endanger all life: plants, animals, and humans. Another issue discussed by Acción Ecológica was the Peña Durini Group, the main timber group in Ecuador and the main wood exporter in the country produces 80,000 tons of wood panels per year, which is an 80% export. The Peña Durini Group has approximately taken 25,000 tons of native forests. In response to this, the organization’s call to action was “to avoid the destruction of the few remnants of remaining forests, we ask all those who feel committed to environmental and collective rights and identified with the defense of our forests to send a letter of petition to the FSC, GFA and RNT not to grant the certification to companies Endesa and Botrosa.”(Acción Ecológica) which are the continuing timber export companies that aid in the decline of the amazon. Their purpose of doing so? was to “the Durini Group has sought to certify forests under the “control” of the company as a way of maintaining and accessing new markets and improving its public image. To date, it has had two main evaluations, but has not been certified. The company has never changed its form of logging, which has devastated and destroyed large areas of natural forests on the Ecuadorian coast and seriously damaged the peasant and indigenous communities in the area. As the forests on the coast are running low, the company has already begun to exploit the forests of the Ecuadorian Amazon.” (Acción Ecológica) Businesses such as these from multiple fronts have continuously corrupted any attempt by the Ecuadorian State to establish a forest control of timber exploitation, said the members of the Accion Ecologica.

Despite all the action being taken by organizations such as Accion Ecologica in Latin America, the fight is never ending. The indigenous people will not stop under any circumstances to make note of what harmful acts businesses are making to their homes, the amazon. The continuation of protests and reaching out to the government directly is what we need to implicate strict laws on the exploitation of natural resources from the amazon. I am with these communities. I stand with them by a call to action to the government and local communities to stand up for their home and have no businesses allowed to use the amazon for profit. For those who believe we need to ruin the amazon for these natural resources immediately because of the depleting number of natural resources left, is out right foolish. The promises these companies make to regrow the trees in the amazon that they are burning/ruining, their exploitation of natural resources is a scam. Eduardo Porter, a popular writer for the Economic Scene column in the New York Times, discusses the issues arising with burning forests for energy in his article Next ‘Renewable Energy’: Burning Forests, if Senators Get Their Way”. Porter concedes that the lawmakers believe they have a legitimate environmental argument: “it makes sense not to count carbon dioxide from burning trees when the trees will grow back and recapture all the carbon released when they were burned.” On the other hand, Porter denies the belief of the lawmakers that claim, “As long the forests are cleared and regrown the wood and other organic matter pulled from the forests are a renewable energy source.” Common sense seems to say that the belief of regrown forests isn’t an efficient way to combat burning forests. The time it will take to regrow trees is nothing of a small degree, the trees that grow in the amazon grow very slowly putting the amazon and its communities at risk for an additional 48 million tons of carbon dioxide that will be produced a year, says Porter.

To stop all future depletion of the remaining natural amazon in Latin America we need to stand together and educate everyone from around the world from as little as our local neighbors to legislators of all countries on how immediate action needs to be taken to stop these businesses being allowed to manipulate and damage the amazon. The amazon provides a home for over 80,000 plants, animals, and human communities. The lethal state the amazon is at right now is crucial. We cannot afford any further damage on any fronts. Actions such as peaceful protests, letters to the administrators of the government, and a general sense of speaking out to those who have more power than we do is what needs to be done. We cannot afford to be ignored any further. We cannot afford any more trees to be burnt down. We cannot afford any more exploitation of natural resources. We cannot afford to be silenced by the government any longer. We cannot afford the immoral acts businesses are and have been doing for decades to the sacred amazon to be overlooked and covered up. Laws need to be created and implicated immediately to save our amazon at its crucial state. We do not have any more time to save ourselves. Anything done now to the amazon will be entirely lethal to our ecosystems, environments, people, animals, and plants. Leave the amazon alone.

Work Cited

Acción Ecológica. “Criminalización de defensores de la naturaleza”. Accionecologica.org. Web. 7 May, 2017.

Front Line Defenders. “Ecuador: Acción Ecológica fights back against arbitrary order of dissolution”. Front Line Defenders. Web. 11 January, 2017. https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/Ecuador-Accion-Ecologica-fights-back-against-arbitrary-order-of-dissolution

Martin, Abby. Chevron Vs. the Amazon. TeleSUR’s “The Empire Files.” Documentary. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37639-chevron-vs-the-amazon

Porter, Eduardo. “Next ‘Renewable Energy’: Burning Forests, if Senators Get Their Way.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Oct. 2016. Web. 07 May 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/05/business/economy/next-renewable-energy-burning-forests-if-senators-get-their-way.html?_r=0

United Nations. “Our Common Future, Chapter 2: Towards Sustainable Development.” Our Common Future, Chapter 2: Towards Sustainable Development — A/42/427 Annex, Chapter 2 — UN Documents: Gathering a body of global agreements. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2017. http://www.un-documents.net/ocf-02.htm

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