Northeastern Brazil: In Typically Dry Lands, Environmental Problems Bud

How does the destruction of naturally Brazilian vegetation increase the environmental impacts in spaces distant from large urban centers?


By: Fernando Cafe


At 5 am, several workers from the cities of Parelhas, Currais Novos, Acari, and Carnaúba dos Dantas leave for the potteries and agricultural fields. Every day, the production of tiles, bricks, and food has become a source of sustenance for this group, which they have in these places as their primary source of income. But from them, environmental adversities are also born that convert the vegetation of the interior of the Northeast region of Brazil into a synonym of concern and disaster.


With average temperatures between 30°C and 37°C, poverty and drought are frequent realities increasingly driven by climate change. In addition, the caatinga, typically Brazilian vegetation, has become an open sky desert caused by practices harmful to nature, which contrasts with the need for the economic survival of the population.


Source: Office in Brazil of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (https://archivo.cepal.org/pdfs/bigpushambiental/Caso64-ProjetoPilotodeCombateaDesertificacaoRN.pdf)


With the drought, clay appeared around the water reservoirs, and from it, the ceramic industry in the region was born, amplifying the environmental adversities in these places. To produce the tiles popular in Brazil, it is necessary to extract clay from the dams, mold them, and allow them to undergo the burning process and subsequent cooling. This desertification, which also occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, North China, and Australia, is expanded along with releasing polluting gases in these potteries.

In this scenario, climate change has enormous consequences in a region with natural impasses. According to a study by the World Weather Attribution, it is projected that there will be an increase of 2°C in the temperatures of the Northeast if the average temperature of the planet is maintained at 1.5° C and 2.5° C. Therefore, desertification, amplified by controversial economic practices in the interior of Brazil, tends to expand the social and natural problems that interfere with the daily life of the general population.


Thus, the subsistence of work is confronted with the preservation of the environment in Northeast Brazil that, despite having naturally dry land, emerges as a fertile place to expand sad environmental consequences.




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