China’s ambitious project to build a railway through the Amazon is a step closer today after Peru agreed to a proposed study. Environmentalists and campaigners fear the impact on the planet’s largest tropical rainforest.
The Amazon is considered the ‘lungs of the planet’ for its job in creating fresh oxygen for all life on earth. Besides water and food, oxygen is something that is needed for sustenance of life. The plan by China is to lay thousands of miles of steel in a railway project that will link the Pacific with the Atlantic cutting through virgin rainforest. The Amazon has been in decline at a rapid rate due to humanity’s love for burgers. Cattle ranches have appeared in place of ancient forest with the accompanying logging and the search for minerals.
These activities based on economic development, modern technology , finance etc. serves to enrich the elite of the world and their grand ideas, whether it be communism as in the past or the present capitalist model. It does not take into account the environment and/or indigenous people for their own sake.
The BBC reports:
The decision came after talks between the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.
If completed, the railway would stretch 5,300km (3,300 miles) but campaigners fear the impact on indigenous people.
Brazil, China and Peru will now begin feasibility studies into the railway.
Mr Li secured Brazil’s consent earlier this week, as part of his tour of Latin America.
The railway would “consolidate Peru’s geopolitical position as a natural gateway to South America”, President Humala said.
For China, it would reduce the cost of shipping raw materials and farm products.
But campaigners are concerned it might destroy untouched parts of the Amazon rainforest, affecting hundreds of indigenous communities.
Mr Li sought to ease fears, saying “to create the infrastructure, it is necessary to protect the environment” in a declaration with Mr Humala, AFP reported.
It is likely to cost more than $10 billion (£6.5 billion). The route is still being examined, but would begin in the gigantic Brazilian port of Acu and ending at a Peruvian port.
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, pledged earlier this year to invest $250 billion (£161 billion) in Latin America over the next decade.
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