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Introduction The South American country of Brazil is well-known for its biodiversity and wealth of natural resources The Amazon River and rainforest are located in Brazil a country with more than 800000 square miles of coastline and a landmass so large that its borders touch all but two of its neighboring countries Rich 1999 The Amazon rainforest is the worlds largest tropical rainforest and for purposes of comparison its size is equivalent to one-half of the entire United States Rich 1999 Although the need to protect this unique and valuable environment might seems obvious the rainforest and its river have been the victims of extensive damage due to lack of resource management overuse of the land and its resources and actions taken due to immediate human economic needs Brazils local environmental problems have become a world concern These problems are so numerous that it is difficult to focus on only two A population explosion that creates excessive amounts of waste and garbage and puts heavy demands on the environment strip and coal mining emissions control and species elimination and extinction are major concerns Two of the most serious problems facing Brazils environment at present however are the devastation of the rainforest and water pollution Rich 1999 These problems affect not only Brazilians but the entire world History and Overview of Brazils Environmental Problems Rich 1999 MSNBCs Sao Paulo correspondent reports that Brazils environmental problems are almost as old as the country itself an observation that is confirmed by a recent work of historical fiction Brazil Red As Portuguese colonists left their homeland and resettled in Brazil they cut down vast swaths of forest to clear land and plant the crops they would need to survive in their new land Rich 1999 This practice has continued over the years in various incarnations but as a rate that is unchecked In the documentary film Carboneiros filmmakers expose the devastation inflicted on Brazils hardwood forests by peasants who
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