Global Issues in South America


Global issues are challenges that have adverse effects on the environment and the global community. Global issues range in strictness from minor problems that affect individuals to global risks that threaten the existence of the entire society or the human race. Therefore, cooperation among nations helps in solving global problems. Global issues that affect South America include environmental issues, food security, female education, corruption, and poverty (Svampa & Maristella71).

Environmental Issues Affecting South America

In South America, advocating for rights of the environment is critical. Such is because sources of water and lands across the continent are mostly exploited in the form of agricultural, logging, mining operations and ranching. The most pressing environmental issues in South America include hydroelectric dams, deforestation, palm oil production, and illegal mining (Smith & Teresa 40).

The Significance of Environmental Issues that are Pressing in South America

Hydroelectric Dams

Hydroelectric dams are a significant means of providing water and energy. In South America, these dams provide homes for species of fish which are consumed by citizens in the country. Some dams in this continent pose more harm than good. For instance, as results lack of consultation with local communities and poor planning, dams have displaced endangered species of fish and other animals, indigenous groups and floods in both farmlands and forests (Smith & Teresa 40).


The rapid removal of trees in South America takes place due to a need for agricultural land. People in South America do agriculture to meet their needs of living due to the poor economy in the country. Poor farmers have let to excess cut down forests to use for farming. They then burn the trees to produce nutrients to the soil to grow their crops. This is important because all of the nutrients required are found within trees and plants.

Palm Oil Production

In South America, the companies that cultivate cheap edible oil with high demand have failed to use sustainable practices (Smith & Teresa 40). The removal of forests and lands has been linked to a host of environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, displacing entire communities, habitat degradation, and animal cruelty. The removal of forests and lands provide room for palm oil productions has led to land degradation.

Illegal Mining

Illegal mining processes are widespread and contentious across the country, particularly mining of copper and gold. Extraction of gold has been associated with many environmental issues, such as destruction of riverbanks and forests and the contamination of fish, people, and rivers by cyanide and mercury. Illegal mining processes are also linked to human rights abuses, including sexual exploitation and forced labor.

A theme of Innovation in Sciences and Technology

Technology is essential in increased productivity and development to meet human needs, but uncontrolled technology has adverse effects on the environment. There is a need for innovation in sciences and technology to reduce environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, climatic changes resulting from global warming and ecological systems disturbances. Environmental planning, conservation, and forest management prevent emissions, replace harmful products and increase efficiency in an environment (Smith & Teresa, p.40).

Future and Present Impacts of Environmental Issues

Environmental issues such as deforestation and global warming affect humans directly. Skin and cataract cancers have increased due to the depletion of the ozone layer. Air pollution causes asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. Pollution to the environment leads to loss of economy and brings out adverse effects on the society. A rapid increase in electrical materials leads to electromagnetic field radiation. This will affect human health vigorously.

The Second Issue is Food Insecurity

Hunger has affected most of the South American countries especially Brazil. The hunger has been caused by inadequate food security measures or rather, food insecurity (Jones & Andrew, p.271). Growing dependency on foreign sources of food, institutional dispersion, and weakness, climatic changes, health risks, clean water, and sanitation, as well as increased prices of food, are among the many factors in South America that have contributed to food insecurity. Additionally, increased unemployment rate and poverty have led to inadequate funds to enable the South American residents to store their food safely. The most affected people are daily laborers.



Innovation in Sciences and Technology course theme

Many technologies may play a critical role in concerns related to food insecurity. Use of science to produce high nutrient crops can stop malnutrition and improve food utilization. STI for climate control mitigation and adaptation including index-based insurance, precision agriculture, and early warning systems can address food insecurity.

Future and Present Impacts of Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is likely to increase poverty levels in South American countries. Food contributes to the continent’s economy; hence its insecurity leads to a drop-in food production thus decreases the economy. With the increasing food insecurity in South America, the occupants are likely to face increased hunger (Jones & Andrew, p.271). The economy’s production is as well likely to deteriorate as the citizens’ lack enough energy for productivity. Food insecurity shall also cause deaths as the hunger may turn severe.

Another Issue Facing South America is Female Education

Even in the current 21st century, women are still struggling with the gender inequality issue. Despite the international Development community recognizing female education universally, South America girls have a low rate of school attendance. There is a significant education gap between male and female genders in the continent. Educating girls is beneficial to their occupational mobility and boosts their earnings hence boosting their society, family’s income, and social status according to Rankin and Aytac. South American governments have as well played crucial roles in widening the gender education gap due to their amendments and set rules. The government as well has been so reluctant in supporting and implementing motions supporting female education in their respective countries.


Innovation in Sciences and Technology Theme

Through female education, empowering women can increase the human potential to address problems of society. Improvement in access to technology and economic opportunities through female education leads to better living conditions. Innovation in science and technology is a significant factor for economic and productivity growth, and these have increased due to female education.

Future and Present Impacts of Female Education

Female education affects poverty level in any nation or rather continent. The widening gap in gender education has impacted families and society by contributing to their poverty. The discrimination and extremism aspect is as well-being triggered by the female education issue. The female education gap has increased poverty, and there is a likelihood of it increasing in future if curbing measures are delayed to be implemented. Racism is likely to be the norm of a day in the future if gender equality bills are not implemented (Mackey & Tim, p.65).

Corruption as a global issue in South America

Corruption is a significant problem affecting South America. Ethnos linguistic, inequality, democracy, trade, federal structure, structural reforms index and economic development have essential effects on corruption. However, the age of democracy, public sector size, and resource exports do not have effects on corruption (Armijo, Leslie & Cynthia Roberts, p.511).

Why Corruption Issue is pressing in the Continent

Corruption in South America arises as a result of many factors. First, devolution criticizes the root cause of endemic corruption, which separates the ruled from rulers. This separation is hard to maintain on the local level because the individuals who are being mistreated are physically closer to the people who govern them. Second, corruption is due to a combination of insufficient intra government competition and excessive government power. These factors ensure that lucrative conflicts and bribery take place without accountability and puts government leaders in charge of too many people’s livelihoods and lives. Third, devolving power would criticize corruption from many different angles. First, less profit is available to start with, making a cost-benefit analysis of illegal task lead to caution due to smaller amounts of money of local government. Second, barriers to the movement of investments among localities and people within the nation are low and nonexistent. Fourth, corruption arises due to federalism, and it increases the cost of corruption in the country (Armijo, Leslie & Cynthia Roberts 511).

A theme of Political and Legal Change as a Result of Corruption

Corruption undermines good governance and democracy by subverting and flouting formal production. Corruption in legislature and elections distorts representation in policymaking and reduces accountability. Corruption in government leads to inefficient provision of services and corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law. Corruption affects the capacity of institutions of the government if procedures are disregarded, exploitation of resources and public offices are bought and sold. Corruption may lead to illegal activities such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

Future and Present Impact of Corruption

Corruption has a great impact on people, society and the economy. First, corruption causes unemployment, well-qualified individuals cannot be offered with a job while those without qualifications get a job, since they pay to qualify. Second, corruption leads to poor health and hygiene due to lack of proper roads, fresh drinking water, milk adulteration, and quality food grains supply. These low-quality services are as a result of saving money by individuals who are involved in corruption. Third, corruption results in lack of respect for rulers, if the leaders are involved in corruption, individuals will disrespect them. Fourth, corruption leads to low investment since the cost of doing business is high due to corruption. This leads to highly inflated prices and low supply of goods. Sixth, corruption leads to deficit finances, since the government is not able to collect revenue hence crippling its ability to finance budget expenses which are crucial (Bouzarovski, Stefan & Saska, p.39).

Poverty as a Global Issue in South America

There is a rise in poverty in South America from twenty-nine percent to thirty-one percent. Large scale unemployment, corruption, economic recession, and strict government regulations have led to the creation of an informal economy. Provision of public services, labor policies, poverty reduction policies, and social protection systems determine how economic growth could translate into better living conditions for the population (Riggirozzi & Pia, p.428).

Why is Poverty being Pressing in the Continent?

The primary source of poverty is the unequal distribution of wealth among individuals. Second, migration, structural adjustment, internal conflicts, and higher fertility leads to poverty in the continent. Third, colonialism also contributes to poverty. Finally, politics, injustice, and inequality have rapidly increased poverty.

 A theme of Economic Change and Innovation in Business

Poverty has a high impact on productivity, the economic prosperity of a community and increases crime in South America which leads to reduced participation in the workforce and lower graduation rates. Economic output decreases due to reduced human capital which puts a strain on government resources. Poverty causes unemployment, religious and cultural discrimination, corruption and lack of education (Ginsburg & Ophira 51).


Present and Future Perception of Poverty Issue

The rise in poverty has led to drug addiction, social and political instability and insecurity. Poverty affects the global economy and also it creates social tensions especially when policies of development fail. Poverty causes rampant corruption and violence leading to abuse of human rights. As poverty increases social deterioration also increases.



Works Cited

Armijo, Leslie Elliott, and Cynthia Roberts. “The emerging powers and global governance: why the BRICS matter.” Handbook of emerging economies (2014): 503-520.

Bouzarovski, Stefan, and Saska Petrova. “A global perspective on domestic energy deprivation: Overcoming the energy poverty–fuel poverty binary.” Energy Research & Social Science 10 (2015): 31-40.

Ginsburg, Ophira, et al. “The global burden of women’s cancers: a grand challenge in global health.” The Lancet 389.10071 (2017): 847-860.

Jones, Andrew D. “Food insecurity and mental health status: a global analysis of 149 countries.” American journal of preventive medicine 53.2 (2017): 264-273.

Mackey, Tim K., et al. “Counterfeit drug penetration into global legitimate medicine supply chains: a global assessment.” The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 92.6_Suppl (2015): 59-67.

Riggirozzi, Pia. “Regionalism, activism, and rights: New opportunities for health diplomacy in South America.” Review of International Studies 41.2 (2015): 407-428.

Smith, Teresa M., et al. “Household food insecurity as a determinant of overweight and obesity among low-income Hispanic subgroups: data from the 2011–2012 California Health Interview Survey.” Appetite 97 (2016): 37-42.

Svampa, Maristella. “Commodities consensus: Neoextractivism and enclosure of the commons in Latin America.” South Atlantic Quarterly 114.1 (2015): 65-82.