chap 4 - 9/12/2011 Geography of the global village LATIN...

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9/12/2011 1 Geography of the global village LATIN AMERICA GEOG 202-509 Learning Objectives Understand Latin America through five themes Latin America’s culture diversity and how colonization has affected it Latin America in the World Economy Learn these concepts and models: – Agrarian Reform – Dependency Theory – Maquiladora – Informal Sector – Dollarization – Latifundia – Minifundia – Supranational Organizations – Altiplano – El Niño / La Nina – Megacities – Mercosur – Neoliberalism – Remittances – squatter settlements – Subnational organizations Introduction Setting the boundaries Rio Grande (Rio Bravo) (north) to Tierra del Fuego (south) Former colonies of Spain and Portugal (shared colonial history) Large, diverse populations 17 countries, 540 million people, 75 percent live in cities Indian and African presence Bolivia elected first Amerindian president in 2005 Industrialization and development growth since 1960s Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Natural resource extraction remains important
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9/12/2011 2 Environment : Latin America FIGURE 4.1 Environmental patterns Highlands (>2,000m elevation) • Andes • Central Mexico + western Central America Lowlands (<2,000m elevation) • Wet: Amazon, Orinoco, Plata Basins; eastern Central America • Dry: southern South America; northeastern Brazil; northern Mexico Countries in Latin America Neotropical Diversity and Degradation The destruction of tropical rain forests Deforestation and loss of biodiversity are major environmental problems in Latin America – Tropical rainforests are 6 percent of Earth’s landmass; hold 50 percent of Earth’s species Dramatic increase in the rate of rain forest clearing since 2000, estimated at nearly 8,000 square miles per year
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3 Destruction of tropical rain forests – Affected regions: Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil and Pacific forests of Central America – Causes: commercial logging, agriculture, settlement, ranching Grassification : conversion of tropical forest to pasture FIGURE 4.3 Deforestation in the Amazon FIGURE 4.5 Tropical Forest Settlement in the Amazon These satel ite images of Rondônia, Brazil, il ustrate the dramatic change in forest cover. In 1975, there was one major road, and most of the region was tropical forest. By 2001, roads, pasture, and farmland had replaced the natural land cover. 1975 2001 Urban environmental challenges: Valley of Mexico Air pollution, smog Water resources (quantity and quality) Subsidence occurs as Mexico City draws down its aquifer: Mexico City sank 30 feet in the 20 th century (Venice, Italy, sank 9 inches) Modern urban challenges Water, sanitation Squatter settlements Curitiba, Brazil, is
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chap 4 - 9/12/2011 Geography of the global village LATIN...

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