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Geography of Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America and it is also the fifth largest country in the world. Brazil borders all the countries in South America except for Chile and Ecuador. It consists of five ecosystems: tropical rainforest; the pantanal; the cerrado; the mata atlantica; and pampasn. Natural resources include iron ore, gold, bauxite, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber, copper and coal.  Most common export are coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus and beef.

Environmental issues include deforestation in the Amazon Basin which has destroyed the habitat and endangers plant and animal species indigenous to the area. There is illegal wildlife trade and severe oil spills.  There has also been desertification in which soils and vegetation of drylands are being severely degraded. Also water pollution due to improper mining activities is occurring. Brazil has various environmental international agreements which include: Climate change; climate change-Kyoto protocol, endangered species; environmental modification; hazardous wastes; law of the sea; marine dumping; ozone layer protection; ship pollution; wetlands; and whaling.



There is also a project in which Brazil would be the primary financier of a planned road through a Bolivian natural reserve. Former president Lula da Silva has visited Bolivia and met with Bolivian president Evo Morales. The meeting was concerning the indigenous protests over the Brazilian funded road connecting Trinidad, Beni to Cochabamba up in the Bolivian mountains.  The goal of the road is to connect Brazil via a more efficient transportation network to ports in Chile. The road will be built from the northeast corner of Bolivia to the border with Chile and it northern most section. The total cost is expected to be $415 million with Brazil funding 80% of the costs. The most controversial issue with the construction of the road is that it runs through the Tipnis natural area and the indigenous people in the area are guaranteed by constitutional right to govern the area independently from the central government. Indigenous people fear that it will make opportunities for loggers and illegal growth of coca in the natural reserve. Brazil is seeking to expand its influence throughout the continent and it wants to expand its trade networks around the world. This also is emphasizing how much Brazil is increasing its diplomatic outreach in the region as a way of ensuring that its economic and political interests are secured.



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