Pin it to Win it – Your choice from Artisans in the Andes

pin it to win it artisans in the andes

Today we are celebrating Artisans in the Andes with a Pin it to Win it contest on Pinterest. This contest is open to everyone, so please join in and have some fun! A randomly selected winner will get the item of their choice from Artisans in the Andes.

How to Enter – 4 Easy Steps

1. Follow on Pinterest, click here: Artisans in the Andes
2.  Pin 1 or more items off of our board that you would like to win: http://www.pinterest.com/ArtisansAndes/art-from-the-andes-of-ecuador/
3. Fill out your name and email and click ‘Submit’:

4. Share this giveaway by using ‘Pin it’ button to pin this picture:

pin it contest with choice of jewelry

Your Choice of Jewelry from ArtisansintheAndes.com

Contest Rules – Pin it to Win it

A. No purchase necessary.  Anyone may enter, world wide.  Shipping to the winner’s address is included in the prize.

B. Entry period:  The contest begins October 27, 2014 and ends November 10, 2014.

C. To win, the winner must complete the 4 steps above. Each applicant will be placed into a random draw. The draw will be held on November 11 and the winner will be contacted by email.  The winner has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If the winner does not respond, another winner will be selected and the first winner will be disqualified.

D. Prize: The winner may select the item (1) of their choice from ArtisansintheAndes.com

 

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Human Impact on the Amazon Rainforest

human impact amazon rainforest
human impact amazon rainforest

Humans have a significant impact on the Amazon Rainforest

There are some significant problems with the rainforest and we need to get involved and be concerned. The rainforest accounts for a significant portion of our oxygen. The rainforest also removes carbon dioxide from the air we breathe. Since air and breathing are important to the quality (and continuity) of our lives, it’s time to check in and see what is going on. This is a round of some issues facing the Rainforest due to human impact.

Deforestation

Deforestation is the key way that governments in Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia measure the change (reduction) in the Amazon Rainforest. Usually this is the only way. Deforestation happens when there is logging and all the trees are removed, and when the local people take over portions of the forest for alternative purposes, usually farming. Corporate farming is especially on the rise in Brazil as there has been an increase in the worldwide demand for palm oil. Deforestation is drastic with approximately 20% of the Amazon disappearing over the last 40 years.

human impact amazon rainforest

The Amazon is a resource for all

Forest Degradation

Deforestation is easy to measure as pictures are taken over time, showing the change. What is harder to measure is forest degradation. This happens when trees are selectively cut down. The selected trees are usually the old, large trees of high value like mahogany and ipe. These trees contribute to the canopy of the Rainforest. The canopy is important because it keeps in the moisture, allowing other high moisture need plants to grow with wild abundance. Tall trees are important because they raise the height of the rainforest, allowing for more plants to grow upwards, rather than just on the ground. It’s difficult to measure forest degradation, so its generally ignored.

Fire

Forest degradation and deforestation lead to another problem, that of fire. Very often the local people will use slash and burn techniques to clear the rainforest so that they can have cattle or grow cash crops. Rainforest soil is not highly productive. The rainforest itself has evolved to make heavy use of recycling plant material, with many plants living off of other plants.

human impact amazon rainforest

Considering the Human Impact on the Amazon Rainforest

The burn technique is a form of fertilization, the plant material is burned, releasing nitrogen, which becomes fertilizer for the new plants. Of course, the nitrogen is used up after a few years, and either the land must have new fertilizer, which the (generally poor) indigenous farmers cannot afford, or the farmer must burn new parts of the rainforest to survive.

Slash and burn techniques mean fire. Fire gets out of control. Usually these are small fires and quickly burn out. The problem comes with repeat fires in the same area. The Rainforest can handle one fire, but if there even small, fires every year or two, it degrades the Rainforest, and starts to destroy the canopy. It recovers more and more slowly until it’s not recovering at all.

Mining

Mining has been close to my heart because of what is going on here in Ecuador with the Yusani Park. There have been many protests and political debates around the recent government decision to allow China to drill for oil in the pristine Yusani park.

Yusani had been set aside as a protected park, but Ecuador is in debt to China and Yusani has oil. The digging has begun with all the accompanying destruction. Highways are being cut to accommodate the large trucks and heavy equipment. Trees are falling every day.

Of course this is not just happening in Ecuador. Brazil and the surrounding countries have also discovered gold, oil and other natural resources that they are uncovering in the Rainforest. Often the areas of actual mining are small, but the roads needed to get to the mining areas, the absolute stripping of the soil, the exploration and increased number of people living in the area have a deep impact on the quality of the forest, not to mention the impact on local indigenous people.

human impact amazon rainforeset

The gorgeous Amazon Rainforeset – under threat

What can be done about Human Impact on the Amazon

Politically we need to move towards recognition of the Rainforest as a valuable worldwide resource. The Rainforest is usually thought of as a national economic advantage, when the reality is that they are international environmental and economic treasures.

Here in Ecuador, President Correo asked the international community to protect Yusani Park. He said that if the rest of the countries of the world contributed $2 billion, they would not go forward with oil mining in Yusani. There were a few pledges from other counties, but the amount was significantly less than $2 billion.

Ecuador needs money to feed its people and build roads over the towering Andes to grow its economy. It defaulted on its international loans of $7Billion in 2008 and other countries are understandably reluctant to lend them money anymore. Ecuador has little real choice in whether to allow China to mine in Yusani given its debt to China.

This scheme of raising money for Yusani obviously didn’t go down well in the international community in its poorly disguised attempt at coercion/manipulation. But there have got to be other ways to provide economic incentives to poor countries to protect the Rainforests under their care.

human impact amazon rainforest

Preserving the Rainforest is important for all people

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Organic Jewelry – What is it?

I get questions asking how the jewelry at ArtisansintheAndes.com and MyWholesaleBoutique.com could be organic? So here I am clarifying what organic jewelry is. The official definition is that organic jewelry is jewelry made from, or produced by, … [Continue reading]

Supporting Education for Children

My focus through ArtisansintheAndes.com is on bringing new trade opportunities to indigenous artisans, but I also have a huge concern for education. While trade is important for adults to bring their families out of poverty, to break the cycle of … [Continue reading]

The Soul of Statement Necklaces

During the 1970’s artisan and handmade jewelry became popular. The huge hits were handmade earrings as well as statement necklaces. While never really going out of style, artisans and handmade jewelry are making a comeback as women move express their … [Continue reading]

Tapestries – A Hidden Gem from Ecuador

I have fallen in love with Ecuadorian tapestries, handmade on wooden looms in the Andes. Lately I have had the opportunity and privilege to get to know a lovely weaving family. Raul has been weaving since he was a young teenager, learning to weave … [Continue reading]

Defining Your Vision of Success Through Passion

North American society has given us a blueprint for what success looks like. But it’s a false picture, it has us chained to desks, working only to buy the next big thing that will make us temporarily happy. The sneaky sad thing is that buying too … [Continue reading]

Vegetable Ivory: A Substitute for Elephant Ivory

Vegetable ivory, also known as tagua, is a beautiful substitute for elephant ivory as the two elements have a close resemblance. It can seriously be considered as a solution to hunting down of elephants for ivory. Products made from tagua are … [Continue reading]

6 Eco Friendly Ways to Feel Younger

Since turning to a more eco-friendly way of life, I have found myself with more energy and a way of looking forward to each day. I am feeling younger, fitter, healthier and even wiser. The following 6 ways are the things that have made the most … [Continue reading]

Two Things to Remember With Chunky Bead Necklaces

Accessories can make or break an outfit. This is especially true with bold and statement-making accessories such as the chunky bead necklace. To make sure this accessory completes your outfit instead of confusing it, here are two tips to keep in mind … [Continue reading]