Conservation International is an organisation which has the goal of protecting the natural world through funding and negotiations in order to maintain the world as a healthy living environment. This includes protecting the world’s resources so that we can continue to draw produce in a sustainable manner, so that future generations will be able to enjoy the world in the same way as we do. By working with people on all levels, from the poorest villagers to country’s governments, Conservation International is trying to guide the world’s governments on how to protect the world around us.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and is home to the largest tropical rainforest in the world, the Amazon. For this reason, Brazil is a key area in terms of world conservation, as more and more cattle farms are demanding that more and more of the rainforest is cut down for both the lumbar and to provide space for the ever growing herds of cows. These are required to sate the human world’s insatiable appetite for meat; an appetite which is only growing as the world’s population is steadily increasing. Add to this the growth of mining industries in Brazil to draw out resources such as uranium found under the forest, and it is easy to see why for so long the forest has been being felled at an alarming rate. Already the forests lining the Atlantic seaboard of the country have been deforested to such an extent that less than ten per cent of the original forests remains.
The main Amazon rainforest itself has also experienced an alarming rate of deforestation, with an area of forest larger than France already having been felled since the seventies. It is for this reason that organisations like Conservation International are needed, as such a rate of deforestation, if allowed to continue, would see the whole Amazon rainforest disappear as we near the end of this century. As the Amazon rainforest is so large, it absorbs a large amount of the Greenhouse gases which our modern ways and the increased cattle farms are producing, and as the forest is often burnt as a means to clear the trees, this adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than all of the world’s motorised vehicles combined every year.
Deforestation also destroys the habitats of the countless varieties of animals which live in the forest, which still hasn’t been fully explored. With thirty thousand plant types exclusive to the Amazon area, it is easy to see just what natural riches lie in this wilderness, which is still being discovered, but is also being destroyed so that many creatures unique to the region may become extinct before they are even found. The largest wetlands in the world, the Pantanal, which lie along the Brazilian border with Paraguay and Bolivia are also still largely unprotected despite of the huge amount of animals which live there. It is protection of these ecosystems as well as the creatures that live in them which Conservation International is working towards in Brazil.
By working with other organisations, Conservation Brazil has already scored successes, with a major victory against deforestation, as in 2006 the governor of the Brazilian state of Para, Simao Jatene declared that an area of the rainforest covering thirty seven million acres would from then onwards be protected. It is in the pursuit of more sanctions of this sort that Conservation international is working today. The Brazilian President Luiz da Silva has also aided the cause by bringing laws into effect which protect the already depleted Atlantic forests of Brazil, which now stand seperated from the main Amazon rainforest due to the amount of deforestation which has taken place.
As well as achieving success with the Brazilian government, Conservation International are also working with the indigenous peoples of the rainforest, such as the Kayapo Indians. To achieve this, they have set up an ecological research station within a Kayapo community where university students can go to study how the Kayapo live in harmony with their environment. This makes them a useful source of information for the development of sustainable policies which could be implemented all over the world to help target deforestation and the general exploitation of tropical forests the world over. Conservation International are also funding the Kayapo with their Global Conservation Fund, which is aimed at funding the peoples all over the globe such as the Kayapo who are fighting to protect their homelands.
It is through raising funds for their worldwide partners such as the Kayapo in Brazil that Conservation International are able to implement the measures required to protect the world’s endangered habitats. Together with Conservation International, six worldwide organisations, including the World Bank form The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, which provides grants to any projects within Brazil or around the world which are seen to help the protection of the world’s endangered habitats as well as people and animals in these environments. This allows people to get work, and to grow new resources or protect their homes, which is all encompassed in the conservational aims of Conservation International.