Friday, May 30, 2008


Alarm Bells Sound for the Amazon

Brazil's land mass and farming industry make it one of the most agriculturally productive countries in the world. It has already been dubbed "the world's feeding bowl" and is exporting more and more to emerging economies, such as India and China.

As China's middle-class continues to grow, so, too, does its demand for food. Brazil exports 10 million tons of soybeans to China a year for both animal feed and human consumption, trade that is crucial to Brazil's economic development.

And it's not just poverty that's an issue.

The state of Para has some of the worst human rights abuses in Brazil. People are trafficked from across the impoverished northeast of the country to work in slavelike conditions in the sawmills, illegal charcoal ovens and cattle farms.

They usually work in horrific conditions, with no basic rights and existing on roughly $5 a day. If they try to seek help from the authorities, they are threatened with death.

There's also the WHO page on "Deaths from Climate Change".
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