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Deforestation in Tropical Rainforests

ANT 160-006 Cultural Diversity in the Modern World


Jackson Hamilton
Lydia Roll

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Tropical rainforests are home to hundreds of indigenous tribes around the globe. Due to
deforestation, it is estimated that at least 8 indigenous groups a year go extinct. Private companies
come in and start cutting down trees without regard to the indigenous people's land. In Brazil alone, 87
indigenous tribes have gone extinct in the last 50 years. In a typical Amazonian indigenous group, the
medicine man is the only person to know the medicinal values of plants and one of the few to know
about the history of the tribe. What steps can be taken to help preserve the culture of indigenous tribes
in the rain forest and slow deforestation?

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The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest system in the entire world. The
rainforest encompasses 2.1 million square miles and is part of nine countries. Brazil contains 60% of
the Amazon, followed by Peru which contains 13%, and Colombia which contains 10%. The Amazon
Rainforest is not only the largest rainforest on Earth, but it is also the most bio diverse. This means it
contains more species of plants and animals than any other place in the world. Due to this diversity,
there is a lot of money that can be made exploiting the indigenous tribes and the species of the
rainforest. Deforestation is destroying the rainforest and the species inside, including indigenous tribes.
This is a huge problem that needs to be stopped. In order to curb deforestation and help save the
indigenous peoples, areas of rainforest need to be converted into national parks that are protected and
legal action needs to be taken upon the people who violate that protection.
Indigenous people that rely on the Amazon Rainforest to be sufficient are facing the most
danger when it comes to deforestation. There are over 400 groups of indigenous tribes in the Amazon
Rainforest. Of those 400, around 77 are thought to be completely isolated and have had minimal
contact with the outside world. Other than a few grainy videos, there is no real proof to their existence.
The fact that they can hide in the Amazon Rainforest and comfortably survive while remaining
completely unseen is incredible. They have true command and mastery of the land that they rely on for
their livelihood. Most tribes are nomadic hunter gatherers that are constantly on the move.

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