Farming and cattle ranching in growing rapidly in western Brazil. True, it’s a good manifestation of swelling economy, but, is it being just and easy with its ecology? Researchers are signaling in the negative direction. They fear that this increase in farming and cattle ranching could destroy the world’s largest freshwater wetlands in less than 45 years.
Nearly 45 percent of the original vegetation in the Paraguay River Basin has already been wiped out by farming. The river Basin includes the 145,000-square-kilometer (56,000-square-mile) Pantanal wetlands, according to a new study by Conservation International-Brazil. The wetlands have lost 17 percent of their original vegetation, resulting to soil degradation and altering the flood plain’s dry and wet cycles. And the ecology that is deteriorating helps sustain the region’s rich biodiversity, according to the study.