The Amazon Rainforest is one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular creations. It covers over 2 million square miles across the continent of South America and is home to thousands of exotic plant and animal species. Its far-reaching impact on the planet cannot be understated as it provides a source of food and water for the people who live in its vicinity and oxygen for the planet as a whole. Who knows what would happen if we didn’t have this enormous natural pair of lungs filtering carbon dioxide out of the air for us.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind as to the importance of the Amazon Rainforest. But, this patch of natural beauty faces a number of threats – some of which are so severe as to threaten its very existence. If the Amazon Rainforest is destroyed, it is possible that the human race would go with it, so strong is our dependence on it.
In order to understand how to keep the Amazon Rainforest alive and thriving, it is important to know what is threatening it. Here are some of the key threats the rainforest faces today.
As the population continues to grow, so does its need for food. Every year, hundreds of thousands of acres of the Amazon are razed to the ground to make way for soy plantations and cattle pastures. Farming is one of the main economies in the Amazon region, with the tourism industry taking a hit with COVID-19, many locals needed to take on jobs in agriculture to support their families. The tourism industry gives locals jobs, so now more than ever it is important to consider taking trips to regions of the world where your help is needed most.
A lot of logging takes place in the Amazon Rainforest, much of which is actually illegal. Logging is the practice of chopping down trees in order to use the wood to create timber. Illegal logging is the same but without the express permission of the government or interested parties.
Not only is logging in itself harmful, but the infrastructure that needs to be in place in order for logging to happen further degrades the Amazon. Highways and access routes need to be built in order to transport the timber from the source to factories and this leads to physical waste, increased vehicle emissions, and loss of habitat for the wildlife of the Amazon.
3. Commercial Fishing
The fish that dwell in the Amazon Rainforest provide sustenance for both the people and animals who live in and around the rainforest. While fishing for food is an age old tradition, over-fishing is a modern phenomenon that is leading to a rapid depletion of the Amazon’s fish population. This is another industry that can be controlled through tourism, as many commercial fishing jobs can be replaced by tourism jobs. At Delfin Amazon Cruises, we only support seasonal fishing. We closely work with experts to monitor seasonal changes and only purchase from fisheries who support this.
4. Smuggling and Poaching
Smuggling and poaching are threatening the livelihoods of the animals in the Amazon Rainforest and are even driving some species towards extinction. Smuggling is the practice of taking exotic animals out of the rainforest to be sold on to foreign collectors as pets. Brightly colored birds, snakes, and big cats are often the victims of smuggling. Poaching is when animals are illegally hunted and sold for food or various other properties, such as the use of its shell for jewelry in the case of the turtle.
At Delfin Amazon Cruises we work closely with local communities to work on preventing smuggling. Our expert naturalist guides, who are local to the communities, educate the importance of keeping wildlife in the wild and how tourists come to the region to see the animals in their natural habitat. Many locals are employed by Delfin Amazon Cruises to help keep the jungle trails clean and to make sure the Amazon’s fauna are kept in the wild.
How Regenerative Tourism Can Help
Delfin Amazon Cruises has responsible tourism and sustainability at the forefront of all of its excursions. Tourism is essential for the Amazon economy. It provides people with jobs, boosts awareness of social issues, and expands cultural horizons of both guests and the indigenous peoples who get to mingle with foreigners. It is important to remember to leave the destination you are traveling to better than it was before. At Delfin Amazon Cruises we believe in fair income distribution, sustainability and creating circular economy opportunities.
To learn more about traveling with us to the Upper Peruvian Amazon, please contact us.