Having Eaten Asia, China Now Eats the Amazon, says a new study, reports Jan Rocha at Climate News Network. The Amazon rainforest stores vast amounts of carbon, and many scientists acknowledge it is important in stabilizing the global climate... China is planning on stopping its One Child policy by 2015. And that's how burgeoning human populations are eating up the Earth, folks, and our future.

Climate Change This Week: China Eats Amazon

The Amazon basin is now China’s No.1 supplier of natural resources, replacing its Asian neighbours as their resources have become depleted. In a relatively short time, China has become Brazil’s major trading partner, overtaking the US and Europe.

But China’s voracious demand for iron ore and timber, as well as soy and beef, is not only fuelling deforestation but negatively influencing Brazil’s environmental protection laws, in the view of researchers.

In a 2012 paper entitled Amazonian forest loss and the long reach of China’s Influence¹, the authors found that “the rapid rise in exports of soy and beef products to China are two of the major drivers of Amazonian deforestation in Brazil”.

The paper further argues that Chinese purchases of agricultural and forest land and Chinese imports of commodities such as timber and aluminium also cause environmental impacts in the Amazon.

Chinese financing and investment in Amazonian infrastructure such as railways and mineral processing facilities have additional impacts.

“Money earned from this trade is strengthening Brazilian agribusiness interests, with profound effects on domestic politics that are reflected in legislative and administrative changes, weakening environmental protection”.

This refers to the recent successful attempt by the agribusiness lobby in the Brazilian Congress to weaken the existing Forest Code...

“It should therefore not come as a surprise that China exerts multiple influences on events in Brazil, often to the detriment of the Amazon forest”, concludes the 2012 paper. [emphasis mine]

How Beijing is shaping the Amazon

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