Brazil Economic Conditions Part 2

Brazil Economic Conditions Part 2

Deforestation The lands made available by the cutting of the forest, for their part, are very far from the regions with the greatest population and, moreover, present not a few cultivation limits. Thus the attempts at systematic penetration into the rainforest (materialized by the ‘transamazzonica’: about 5000 km of route), such as those spontaneously put in place by the sem terra, actually appear destined to create much more sensitive environmental imbalances than the actual economic benefits could be. Among the negative environmental repercussions of deforestation, in addition to the loss of forest cover itself (which is also beginning to be attributed to a global effect on the earth’s climate) and in addition to the reduction of the spaces pertaining to indigenous populations, the loss of elements of biodiversity (it is estimated that the Amazon basin hosts more than half of the Earth’s living species, both animals and plants), massive erosion and desertification phenomena. In fact, the practices of non-selective but ‘flush’ cutting of the forests expose the cleared areas to a very rapid degradation, only partially contrasted by the spontaneous regrowth of secondary forest formations; consider that the average area cut down every year, in the period 2002-04, was 24,000 km2. The wood obtained from it, however, largely destined for the internal market or for industrial processing (wood pulp, gums, resins), only marginally affects the trade balance, although it also includes precious woods; however, it should be added that, according to government estimates, at least 60% of the wood produced in Brazil is cut and exported illegally (there are about 3000 clandestine sawmills in the Amazon): consequently, the statistics on the export of wood are significantly distorted. The main use that can be made of deforested land is grazing, which however is practiced only for relatively short periods given the rapid decline in soil productivity, over-exploitation and the regrowth of tree cover; the meat yield (intended for export to North America) is quite high and, above all, operating costs are very low. More recently, soy has also taken over the deforested lands; also in this case the destination of the product is North America, and also in this case the yield, very strong in the first years, irreparably decreases in a short time; the use of river routes for the transport of the product, however, guarantees the convenience of systems (such as loading terminals, buildings for the workers and so on) even in the short term. and also in this case the yield, very strong in the first years, irremediably decreases in a short time; the use of river routes for the transport of the product, however, guarantees the convenience of systems (such as loading terminals, buildings for the workers and so on) even in the short term. and also in this case the yield, very strong in the first years, irremediably decreases in a short time; the use of river routes for the transport of the product, however, guarantees the convenience of systems (such as loading terminals, buildings for the workers and so on) even in the short term.

Industry and tertiary sector Brazil has also begun to develop production of consumer goods (textiles-clothing, footwear, means of transport, household appliances, electrical engineering, agri-foodstuffs, among which the following stand out: sugar, of which Brazil is the world’s leading producer and exporter, tobacco, and fruit juices, of which it is the third producer); more recently there has been a strong growth in the high-tech sectors (electronics, aerospace, telecommunications), often located in free zones (such as in Manaus) or in technology parks, which represent about 12% of exports. The manufacturing productions, as a whole, not only place Brazil among the top ten industrialized countries in the world, but they guarantee over half of exports (54% in 2005), marking a profound change in the economic structure of the country.

The development of the tertiary sector is also recent and impressive, almost all concentrated in the Southeast, where not only are the main private companies in the country (while the public administration focuses on the capital, Brasilia), but also most of the research centers. universities, cultural structures (theaters, museums).

Energy resources. From the point of view of energy resources, the Brazil has matured a favorable situation, especially thanks to the discovery of vast oil and gas fields and with the construction of various large hydroelectric plants, which however exploit only a small part of the country’s water potential.: among the 25 plants with installed capacity exceeding 1000 MW, we can mention those of Itaipú (12,600 MW), Ilha Solteira and others on Paraná; of Tucuruí on the Tocantins; by Xingó, Paulo Afonso IV and others on the São Francisco. In 2005, Brazil produced just under 400 billion kWh, for more than 80% of water source (third world producer of hydroelectric energy), and almost equalized the oil requirements. To these data must be added the particular development that has had in Brazil the production of ethanol (produced with vegetable waste, starting with sugar cane), which satisfies about 40% of the need for light fuels, in particular for automotive.. Oil refining largely feeds an important chemical industry, while iron ore (B. is the second largest producer in the world) has supported the growth of a conspicuous steel industry, and this, in turn, the development of sectors mechanical, shipbuilding, aeronautical, armaments, which have flanked the more traditional productions of rubber (tires), deriving from the availability of rubber, and cement. Still among the minerals, the production of bauxite, manganese and tin (with the relative metallurgies) and phosphates are also important; and not insignificant those of gold, diamonds, precious stones.

Routes of communication Communications, in the northern and central Brazil, are ensured almost exclusively by navigable waterways; these, at least theoretically, can be used for about 50,000 km overall, but mainly distributed outside the regions with the greatest density of population and activity. In addition to the waterways, there are some long-distance roads, such as the transamazzonica, which goes almost parallel to the course of the river from the Northeast coast; Brasilia-Belém, which intersects the trans-Amazonian, to the North, while to the South it connects with the southern regions; the Sudeste-Rondônia, which from Brasilia reaches the transamazzonica, beyond which it continues towards the N, touching Manaus and Boa Vista and the border with Venezuela; the Cuiabá-Santarém, which detaches from the previous one and proceeds towards the SN until it crosses the Amazon River; in addition, a multitude of penetration roads destined to reach forests to be felled or mineral deposits; in many of these cases, the roads that are opened do not bring a real benefit in terms of connection, also because maintenance is abandoned as soon as the purpose for which they were built disappears. The road network in the regions close to the coast, on the other hand, is highly developed. Overall, the network of asphalted roads reaches just 95,000 km (2000), against almost 1.7 million km of rolling stock with natural ground.

The development of the railway network in 2003 was 30,403 km. The main ports are those of Vitória (which, with the mining terminal of Tubarão and other minor ones, handled about 110 million tons in 2000), Itaqui (58.5), São Sebastião (45.7), Santos (43), Sepetiba (39.8), Paranaguá (21); Manaus, with 8.8, is the first of the river ports.

Air communications have had a notable development, with over 455 million km flown and 250 million passengers, who can count on more than 4,000 landing fields – of which only about 700, however, have paved runways, while a smaller number are equipped of real airport facilities; the main airports (the São Paulo airport system stands out above all, with 23.7 million passengers) are in the south-eastern regions (in order of passenger movement: Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Pôrto Alegre, Curitiba), with the only exceptions of Brasilia and Recife. The particular role of air links in a country so vast and so lacking, in large parts, of ground communication routes should be emphasized; the large number of runways, once we exclude those located in the megalopolitan region, where almost all international airports (about twenty) are located, it does not correspond to a particularly intense traffic for the quantity of passengers or goods, but it has a clearly essential function. The foreign component of air traffic is however significant, both for business and for tourism; tourist flows, in particular, record a constant and significant growth compared to a recent past (almost 4.8 million arrivals per year), but they are still certainly far from the results that the potential of the country would allow. The foreign component of air traffic is however significant, both for business and for tourism; tourist flows, in particular, record a constant and significant growth compared to a recent past (almost 4.8 million arrivals per year), but they are still certainly far from the results that the potential of the country would allow. The foreign component of air traffic is however significant, both for business and for tourism; tourist flows, in particular, record a constant and significant growth compared to a recent past (almost 4.8 million arrivals per year), but they are still certainly far from the results that the potential of the country would allow.

Brazil Deforestation 

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