TOPIC BRIEFS

The Question of taking measures to protect the Amazon Rainforest from disappearing any further due to human activities.

The Question of addressing the issue of water scarcity in Jordan.

 

Five decades ago, the country of Brazil encouraged its citizens to colonize the Amazon; the world’s largest tropical rainforest, that is widely known for its forestry, exotic animals, rich biodiversity, and the fact that it produces around 6% of the earth’s oxygen. Ever since, the Amazon has been filled with humans taking part in activities such as selective logging, hunting, deforestation, and other forms of habitat degradation.

 

Each day, these activities are becoming more and more prevalent, and each day, the future of the Amazon becomes less clear. Scientists have warned that these activities are bringing the forest near a ‘tipping point’, which refers to its disappearance over time. Not only is the atmosphere above it becoming extremely dry, where experts warn that soon the water cycle will be broken, creating a trend of declining rainfall and longer dry seasons in the forest, but it is as well losing a lot of its land at extremely fast rates. With as much as 17% of the rainforest lost already, experts believe that by 2030, 27% of the rainforest will be without trees. The Amazon is vanishing at a rate of 20,000 square miles per year, and this number will only increase with the continuation of these activities.

 

In August 2019, there were record breaking fires that raged across the forest, started due to a few farmers taking part in ‘the slash and burn’ technique for agricultural purposes. More than 7,200 square miles were lost in just a few months, and millions of trees were killed. The atmosphere became even drier, and the entire situation of the rainforest became way worse. These fires have highlighted the idea that the Amazon Rainforest is at more risk now, than it has ever been, which is why extreme measures should be taken as soon as possible in order to protect it, before it’s too late.

Water scarcity is defined as the lack of sufficient accessible water resources in order to meet the demands of water usage in a region. Affecting 2.8 billion people worldwide, many countries such as Jordan, suffer from the issue greatly. Over the past few years, Jordan has made its way, becoming one of the most water scarce countries. Having a population that increases 3% annually, water is being depleted to fulfill the needs of each and every single one of the 11 million residents. To take things into perspective, Portugal and Jordan are both the same size, yet the average freshwater withdrawal in Jordan is less than 10% of Portugal’s average.

 

The price of water has increased 30% over the past ten years, due to the many shortages of ground water, seeing that the country’s renewable water supply currently meets about half of the population’s water demands. Jordan’s main water sources are the Jordan River and Yarmouk River. However, due to the fact that neighboring countries consume a lot of the water from these rivers, little to nothing is left for Jordan. For example, Jordan receives around 50,000,000 cubic meters out of the 1.3 billion cubic meters of the water flow in the Jordan River. The water scarcity in Jordan has reached new levels, and the country is currently facing numerous struggles. More than one suitable solution must be implemented for the sake of the country and its citizens.

The Question of reducing the hazardous, life threatening smog in New Delhi, the capital of India.

The smog in the capital of India, New Delhi, is an ongoing, severe pollution event that causes clouds of choking smoke to descend upon the 30 million residents of the city. This issue has reached emergency levels all throughout the region, as the pollution emitted by cars and factories continue to build onto the issue. The gray haze is altering many people’s lives, as it leads to cancelled flights, closed schools, and long-term health issues.

 

According to a NASA worldwide view satellite image taken back in 2016, the smog could be seen from space. That just goes to show how severe this is, as just last year, air pollution alone caused around 1.2 million deaths in the country. The smog that blankets the city, is made up of poisonous car fumes and industrial emissions. The residents are forced to breathe this air, which experts have compared to smoking 50 cigarettes a day.

 

It is obvious that the huge amounts of air pollution in the country were so abrupt and unpredicted, as it is mainly due to the uncontrolled, sudden urbanization. This urbanization is occurring at a faster rate in India compared to anywhere worldwide, which is leading to issues such as urban sprawl, overpopulation, trash disposal, and a lot more.

 

"You can obviously see how terrible it is and it's actually scary you can't see things in front of you," said a citizen of New Delhi who took part in a protest demanding for immediate action. “We are concerned about our futures and about our health.” The UN and its members should focus on solving the issue through implementing long term, sustainable anti-pollution measures.