The massive strive for industrialization in South America has continuously possed a lot of threats to livelihood. This continues to draw a lot of attention down the line of historical records. And like in other parts of the world teeming with natural resources, humanity-spirited individuals, such as activists, have relentlessly fought against environmental-denigrating activities. Among the hundreds of them, I highlight 5 environmental issues in South America below.
- Indigenous Group Displacements And Death By Dams
South America has been an attraction for the construction of hydroelectric dams either for indigenous or non-indigenous use due to its high possession of water bodies. The construction of such dams, however, leads to not only the displacement of groups but also of aquatic life. Several cases, such as the Agua Zarca dam project of 2017, highlight the assassination of indigenous community leaders who defended the livelihood and human rights of the SA community. The construction of the Agua Zarca dam in the River Gaulcarque in Honduras would have compromised the people’s access to water, food, way of life, and lead to total displacement but for the activists’ outcry.
- Illegal Mining
The worth of illegal exports of gold toll $2.6 billion by estimate in 2015. According to the World Bank, 19% of this estimate bounces off the illegal mining activities within the region of South America. Not only does this affects the region’s economy, but such illegal mining activities also tie in with human right abuse, forced labor, and sex abuse annually reported within Latin America, Mexico, and South America.
- Palm Oil/Natural Resources Exploitation
Palm oil production is a big industry with a massive market readily available across the globe with high demand for the product. The sources for the extraction of palm oil are, unfortunately, scarce. Exactly why investors take to regions close to the Amazons for the vegetation of palm oil. These investors, however, implement unsustainable practices to breakdown vegetation budgets. Consequently, the destructive felling of trees, displacement of natural life, contamination of water, and climatic change are attributed.
- Fire Outbreak
Though many cases of the Amazon fires are suspected to the clearing of lands by loggers and cattle ranchers, research blames it, in most part, on climatic change. Increase in a humid atmosphere, a heightened atmospheric temperature, and the greenhouse effect; all caused by illegal mining and other exploitation of natural resources are such climatic changes encouraging fire outbreaks. In 2019, the period with the most industrial activities in the Amazons, the territory of the outspread reaches 80, 626, a massive leap from the 2013 outspread territory of 39, 584.
- Deforestation In Amazon
Lastly, the heavy deforestation activities in the Amazon rainforest have come with several consequences, including environmental issues. Extremely, catastrophic annual flooding, as a result, has been recorded to lead to the loss of human and animal lives. Water bodies have been contaminated too, leading to a gastric reduction of aquatic lives. Sacred shamanic sites and other important sites in the Amazon regions are forcefully claimed and destroyed every year due to deforestation.