How the rainforest disappears
The rainforest is threatened. This picture shows storm damage, which is increasing due to the holes in the formerly closed forest cover.
Slash-and-burn: The myth of better soil fertility through slash-and-burn is still alive. Since the migratory cultures of the Amazon never lived in a particular place for a long period of time, it was not necessary for the soil to remain sustainably fertile. We know that slash-and-burn in the long run reduces the vitality of the soil. In order to have good harvests, the tribes preferred floodplains that supplied the soil with nutrients cyclically.
In 2011, however, a much greater threat came along ‒ large-scale deforestation for monoculture. Within a year 6,000 hectares of rainforest were allocated in Tamshiyacu. A big company that wanted to offer the cheapest cocoa in the world began its sinister work. The company founded numerous subsidiaries and raised a claim in the Amazon region of Peru to a total of about 145 000 hectares of forested area. We have been able to prevent deforestation to this extent so far. Again and again, there were new court decisions that put the company in the wrong and imposed penalties, but a poorly equipped police couldn’t stop the deforestation. How could that happen? And why is the government looking supposedly helpless? To understand that, you have to go back in time.
The forest is national property in Peru and thus protected by law, nobody can attack it. But laws can be avoided if planned long and carefully.
Not only the forest near Tamshiyacu is threatened, but also in other parts of the country national and transnational companies participate in the disastrous business with wood, land and people. The profit from timber, natural resources and land trade is simply too great.