South America is known for its growing economy as it leverages its natural resources (i.e. Amazon, oil, and mining). There has been significant increase in these practices as the South American economy grows at the cost of the depletion of what some believe to be a world asset. It is believed by many that the Amazon although owned by South America is a world asset because of the impact its depletion has on the world’s environment. Brazil has taken active role in regulating the depletion of this resource and many other countries have begun to follow suite.
Brazil’s Amazon Region consist of approximately 5 million square kilometers, as discussed earlier is the subject of deforestation due to logging, ranching, and mining operations. Brazil has responded to this by increasing the Amazon Regional Protected Areas Program by expanding areas under protection and increasing public awareness of environmental the impact of the deforestation of the Amazon. This initiative had the potential to slow economic growth in this country; however, some companies have responded in innovative ways to continue the economic growth of South America.
Braskem a plastic manufacture based in Sao Paulo, Brazil has adjusted and has replaced the petroleum used to create plastic with sugarcane. Sugarcane is an abundant natural resource in the area and has zero impact on the depletion of the Amazon. This process is made possible by converting the sugarcane ethanol to ethylene, which is a fundamental ingredient to creating plastic.
It’s important to recognize the efforts of Brazil and how it has helped develop a sustainable market for its economic growth. It’s important to remember that if these types of environmental sanctions are embraced it could result in innovation, economic growth, all while protecting the environment.
Results. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2013/10/09/Brazil-protects-Amazon-increasing-size-protected-areas
Braskem. (2014, February 10). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2014/braskem