The continued destruction of the Amazon to exploit its resources for mining, agriculture and hydro-power is threatening the future of the South American continent, according to a report by campaigning groups using the latest scientific data.
Five countries – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – share the Amazon, and for all of them the forest area occupies more than 40% of their territory. All face threats to their water supply, energy production, food and health.
In addition, the report says, because of the over-exploitation of the region rainfall will fall by 20% over a heavily-populated area far to the south of Amazonia known as the La Plata basin, covering parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Last month it was reported that deforestation in Amazonia had increased by almost a third in the past year, with an area equal to 50 football pitches destroyed every minute since 2000.
The report, the Amazonia Security Agenda, authored by the Global Canopy Programme and CIAT, the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, says the prosperity of the region is based on the abundance of water.
There always seemed to be an endless supply of water, but the combination of industrial and agricultural pollution and droughts is creating a once unthinkable vulnerability for the five countries of Amazonia.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc