A study published in the August 12 edition of the journal "PLoS One" shows that areas in the bidding process for oil and natural gas exploration are concentrated in the western Amazon and sum an area larger than France.
Unlike the eastern Brazilian Amazon, the western Amazon is still a largely intact ecosystem.
The study mapped the projects of oil exploration in areas of Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. According to the researchers (Folha de S. Paulo, 13/08/2008), the biggest risk to the region, however, is not the direct result of oil extraction but the roads that provide access to remote areas. They tend to lead to deforestation, illegal extraction of timber and illegal hunting.
Oil and Gas Projects in the Western Amazon: Threats to Wilderness, Biodiversity, and Indigenous Peoples Matt Finer1*, Clinton N. Jenkins2, Stuart L. Pimm2, Brian Keane3, Carl Ross1 1 Save America's Forests, Washington D. C., United States of America, 2 Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States of America, 3 Land Is Life, Somerville, Massachusetts, United States of America
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