Term Paper: Peru in Comparison to Uganda

Pages: 6 (2281 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Businesses and communities in the heart of Cali have been destroyed by coca dollars, and again through their withdrawal from the local economy.

In terms of deforestation, this is a problem common to all developing countries, as people without access to our (developed world) privileges clear land to feed their families. Deforestation in Peru stands at 290,000 hectares per year; in Colombia, this figure is estimated to be higher than this, at 310,000 hectares per year (but no-one can say for sure, as most forested areas in Colombia are under the control of guerrilla groups, such as FARC, and so it is impossible to obtain real figures for this). It has been said that "at the (current rate of deforestation in Colombia), Colombia's woodlands will be depleted in 40 years" (International Environmental Reporter, 1995).

These two countries have similar reasons behind the deforestation, over and above those of developing countries, as discussed, because, as we have seen, these two coca-connected countries also suffer deforestation due to forests being cleared for coca cultivation, and due to forests being sprayed with herbicide under U.S.-led interventions in Colombia, in particular, under Plan Colombia (Drug Policy Alliance, 2002). According to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance, "reform proponents contend that spending billions on environmentally unfriendly military interventions do little other than shift coca production from one country to the next - destroying rainforest in the process" (Drug Policy Alliance, 2002).

In terms of the comparison between rates of deforestation in Peru and Uganda, and Peru and India, Uganda's forest has "declined from 45% to 20% in the last hundred years," and "is losing about 50,000 hectares of forest each year" (www.forests.org).Uganda therefore is losing physically less forest each year than Peru, although Uganda started with less coverage, and so is losing forest at a higher rate than Peru. Much of this is due to the political problems, and social unrest that Uganda has faced throughout its history: from the dictatorship, to civil war, all of which required forest to be expended in order to feed the starving masses.

For the India comparison, the area of the two countries needs to be taken into account, but it is known that 57% of India's land mass has been degraded in some way or another, either through pollution, or deforestation, or desertification. This therefore indicates a far more widespread set of environmental problems faced by India than Peru. In addition, data indicate that 3.75 million hectares of virgin forest are destroyed every year in India: more than ten times the amount destroyed in Peru, even accounting for area differences. Why such a large difference? India has over a billion people, Peru just under 9 million (2002 figures: CIA, 2002).

What have we learned from the comparisons made in this paper? That the developing countries featured here have many problems, that some of the problems are common to each country (i.e., economic difficulties), that some of the problems are due to geography (i.e., the illicit drug trade which affects Peru and Colombia, as coca only grows in Andean environments), and that some of the problems (i.e., deforestation) are common to each country, but occur in each country for different reasons, and at different rates.

This paper shows that the problems of developing countries are the problems of us all, and that, as such, the world (or rather, the most powerful in the world) should stand up and take action against these injustices, and be counted in the fight for justice for the people of the developing world.

Works Cited

Carroll, T. (1995). Comparative Political Analysis and the Comparative Method.

CIA (2002a). CIA World Factbook for Peru. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pe.html

CIA (2002b). CIA World Factbook for Uganda. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ug.html

Dogan, M. And Kazancigil, A. (1994). Comparative Nations: Concepts, Strategies, Substance.

Drug Policy Alliance (2002). Plan Colombia increases rainforest deforestation in Peru. http://www.lindesmith.org/news/09_26_02peru.cfm.Article written 26th September 2002; Accessed 18th October 2003.

Handleman, H. (2000). The Challenge of Third World Development.

Kawell, J.A. (1989). Going to the source. NACLA Reports on the Americas 22(6): 21-23.

Kawell, J.A. (2002). Profile: Peru/Bolivia. NACLA Reports on the Americas 36(2): 3-5.

Sartori, G. (1991). Comparing and miscomparing. Journal of Theoretical Politics 3: 243-255.

Tate, W. (2001). Into the Andean Quagmire: Bush II keeps up the march to militarization. NACLA Reports on the Americas 35(3): 12-15.

Youngers, C. (1997). "The Only War We've Got": Drug Enforcement in Latin America. NACLA Reports on the Americas 31(2): 21-24.

Youngers, C. (2000). Cocaine Madness: Counternarcotics and militarization in the Andes. NACLA Reports on the Americas 34(3): 1-4.

Youngers, C. And Burt, J-M. (2000). Defending rights in a hostile environment. NACLA Reports on the Americas 34(1): 18-21. http://www.rainforestweb.org/Rainforest_Regions/South_America/Peru/… [END OF PREVIEW]

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