South America Blog

Article Title: “Gran Chaco: South America’s second-largest forest at risk of collapsing'
Author: Rodolfo Chisleanschi
Translator: Sarah Engel
URL:https://news.mongabay.com/2019/09/gran-chaco-south-americas-second-largest
-forest-at-risk-of-collapsing/

In the, “Gran Chaco: South America’s second-largest forest is at risk of collapsing'
author Rodolfo Chisleanschi, explains some of the indicators for coming dramatic
changes in the ecosystem, the causes of such changes, and the historic and current
challenges the Gran Chaco Forest faces. The Gran Chaco forest has forest areas in
Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. While he sights logging as a historical cause of
deforestation and subsequent change in ecosystem, he also notes how the rise in
agriculture, specifically soybean farming, has significantly increased harmful activities
in the Gran Chaco, as forests get cleared to make room for farming in the humid areas
and ranching gets pushed to the semi-arid areas. Chisleanschi, points out that a forest
area more than twice the size of Buenos Aires was lost due to deforestation in June of
2018 alone. Chisleanschi also noted a recognizable trend in weather climate patterns,
noting that the swing between flood and drought has been shorter. This rapid
deforestation for commercial agriculture and timber is even affecting the human aspect of this area as locals are finding that resources and areas they depended on are gone. The Gran Chaco Forest, often being overshadowed by its neighbor the Amazon is
starting to disintegrate. Indicators in wildlife and the carrying capacity of the forest
show a decline in natural productivity with lower wildlife populations and less
productive soil. With this forest spanning four countries, containing a unique wildlife
population, a unique growing human population, and expanding destructive industries,
it should definitely be kept in mind, like the Amazon Rainforest, as losing large unique
and wild areas like these can start a domino effect. Such a large losses has even larger
externalities.

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