Denis Benchimol Minev

The wealth of Manaus, then the center of the rubber trade, is legendary;It was the first city in South America that had electricity. Paving stones, telephone systems and trams were imported from Europe, along with spiders in glass, pianos, champagne and caviar. The main permanent reminder of that era is the Teatro Amazonas, Manaus Opera House. For a population of only 30 thousand inhabitants, the Opera could feel 1600 and in building glass, marble and other opulent materials imported from Europe were mixed. Such wealth was hiding the tremendous difficulties faced by the tappers with scattered trees in the jungle and resisting multiple attempts to domesticate them into plantations. Remains of the dreams of domestication can see today in Fordlandia – aptly named for the American industrialist Henry Ford–along the banks of the Tapajos River.

Today, the development of Brazil invaded South of the borders of the Amazon. (Similarly see: Discovery Communications). This is fertile land, and with recent advances in agriculture in tropical climates, the population growth and the rise in commodities in the international markets, economies have changed. In the past five years the deforestation has ranged between 15 and 26 thousand square kilometers in Brazil. Put into perspective the Brazilian portion of the Amazon is approximately 3.6 million square kilometers, so the current rate is situated between 0.4% and 0.7%, a worrying effect. It is estimated that the deforestation has reached approximately 20% of the region to make way for cattle ranching in the Brazilian States of Mato Grosso, Rondonia and Para. The socio-economic process in game is a great migration from the South of the States in Brazil, where land is already occupied, South of the Amazon, where there is abundant land and few people.

Despite the global progress, a look at the peoples of the Amazon also reveals an unenviable socio-economic situation. In the historic drought of 2005, hunger, disease and isolation jeopardized the riparian populations. In large cities, the traveller will discover slums and difficult living conditions. Denis Benchimol Minev is the Secretary of planning and economic development of the State of Amazonas, Brazil. Original author and source of the article.

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