I grew up overseas, first as an “air force brat” and then as an (embassy) attache’s daughter. We lived in Europe and Latin America and after college I moved to New Zealand. So you can see why I am attracted to various cultures and settings. These places have beautiful natural scenery and fostered my love of nature and inclination for conservation.
When I was a kid, my father told me “they will never conquer the jungle.” He was a pilot and this was after yet another fruitless search and rescue mission for a plane that went down somewhere in the tropical forests between Costa Rica and Panama. I wish they had found the plane, but I also wish he had been wrong about de-forestation.
I remember flying over emerald forests in the 1960’ and 70’s that looked like endless crumpled velvet. Thankfully half of Costa Rica’s existing forest cover today is under the protection of national parks or biological reserves, but 80% of their original rainforest was already gone over 15 years ago. The primary cause of deforestation was cattle ranching. (You’ve heard of the “hamburger connection”?)
Brazil and Colombia are the two most biologically diverse countries on Earth due to the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world covering over a billion acres (stretching into parts of Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela as well).
Colombia lost 30% of their forests to diverse causes – ranging from logging, mining, development of hydro-electricity, agriculture to cocaine production. The primary cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazonas – like in Costa Rica – was cattle ranching.
Most of the pictures in the slide show above( unless they have my initials) come from people who share their wonderful photos on Pinterest (for more see www.pinterest.com/CindaMac/ ). This is a rehash of a post I wrote over two years ago when I first started this blog. I figure I can do this as most of you who now follow this blog didn’t “know” me back then. (And I hope those of you who did and do won’t mind – at least there are new pictures!) Still valid today.