Eco terrorism can be fun

Eco terrorism can be fun

By Marcia Helene Hewitt

Environmental Anthropology UWA


What better feeling could there be than to get a sledgehammer and break

up the pavement of your driveway and plant rows of capsicums, tomatoes

and lettuce instead!


It’s also a good idea to plant as many trees back into your garden and surrounding area as you can.  As anyone knows who is doing any real research on climate change, the deforestation of planet earth is the major

culprit for many of the conditions that we are seeing today. Let’s take the Amazon forest for example.


The Amazonian forest extends over 1.2 billon acres, or seven million square kilometers, located within the following nine nations:  Brazil (60% of the forest), Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana.


The Amazon represents over half the planet’s remaining rainforests & is the most species- rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.


The name Amazon is ascribed to Francisco de Orellana who fought a tribe of Tapuyas and believed that some of them were women.  He borrowed the term Amazonas from Herodotus and Diodorus.  He may have mistaken male warriors for female since they all had long hair and grass skirts.


Brazil loses around 1% of its forests annually, whilst Paraguay, if it continues at the present rate, will have virtually no native forest left in 25 years from now (WSF 2008).


Problem:  Unsustainable practices that deplete environmentally fragile areas are driven by poverty.  The distribution of income is highly skewed, with 1/3 of the region living in or below the poverty line.  Most of the indigenous communities lack income opportunities and basic services such as education, health and housing.  This lack of access to basic services has created pressure to overuse resources that deplete environmentally fragile infrastructure.


In Central America 70% of the regions’ original forest cover has been cleared (





Bierregaard Jr. R. O, Gascon, C. Lovejoy, T.E. & Mesquita, R.C. 2001.

Lessons from Amazonia: the Ecology and Conservation of a Fragmented Forest. Ann Arbour, Michigan. Yale University.


Da Silva et al. 2005. The Fate of the Amazonan Areas of Endimisn. Conservation Biology . 19 (3) 689-694.


Science Direct Database. 2008. The Future of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Future of bioregions. 38: 432-453 [retrieved Jan. 2008]


Turner, I.M. 2001. The ecology of trees in the tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.



Williams, M. 2006. Deforestation of the Earth: From Prehistory to Global Crisis. Chicago, Il. The University of Chicago Press.


WWF-Latin America & Caribbean. [] [accessed Jan. 2008].



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