Mitigation Strategies and Practical Solutions to Environmental Problems in South America

Essay by redovergreen50College, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

download word file, 9 pages 3.0

South America covers more than 50,000 miles and consists of coasts, mountainous areas, and is home to over one-half of the world's tropical forests. The continent encompasses the Andes Mountains and major rivers, including the Orinoco, the Parana-Plata and the magnificent Amazon, a river filled with countless wonders of bio-diversity. Issues currently plaguing the South American continent are many. These issues include, but are not limited to, ground erosion from poor flood controls, poorly managed land use practices, deforestation, air pollution, polluted water in urbanized areas and rivers that have fallen victim to pollution because of an increase in the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Environmental Problems in South AmericaIn the 1960's, environmentalists and conservationists began to observe South America becoming a victim of declining bio-diversity. A kind of 'sheltering' of the continent began to take place. Unfortunately, in the following decade of the '70's, economic and social pressure began to erode the 'sheltering'; the consequences of deforestation and destruction of coastal areas began to emerge.

One unfortunate repercussion was that conservation plans were shunted to the bottom of the priority list.

On the other hand, unchecked land usage set off a rapidly growing cycle of fear among environmentalists in the early 1990's and, as a result, renewed conservation efforts have come to pass. In 1992, conservationists and environmentalists persuaded government leaders throughout South America to designate officially protected areas and reserves. These areas and reserves have now grown to over 20% of the continent. However, this was not an easily attained condition. For quite some time, many of those areas were existent only in writing. This was not so much due to lack of will when it came to conservation, but to many administrators attempting to maneuver within inadequate environmental legislation and poorly constructed legal arenas. To assist with...