The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest:
2.7 million square miles
1 million indigenous people
16,000 trees species
40,000 plant species
2,000 birds & mammals species
For the past 500 years, more often than not, the indigenous people have been exploited and mistreated. Anthropologists studies show that their population has been reduced by approximately 90% since first contact with the Europeans. This genocide has largely gone unnoticed.
'Not even Indians isolated in the depths of forests are safe in our day. At the beginning of this [the 20th] century 230 tribes survived in Brazil; since then 90 have disappeared, erased from the plane by firearms and microbes. Violence and disease, the advance guard of civilization: for the Indian, contact with the white man continues to be contact with death.'
Eduardo Galeano - Open Veins of Latin America, 1971
It is time for change. Time for the rainforest to be protected, time for indigenous people to freely continue their way of life, maintain their culture and determine their own future. For the wider world to understand, learn from and give the diverse mix of ethnic groups in Amazonia the respect they deserve.
Approximately a fifth of the rainforest has already been lost to deforestation and the current threats include:
- industrial agriculture (primarily soya bean and cattle ranching)
- mineral mining (primarily gold and bauxite)
- hydroelectric dams
- oil extraction
- palm oil extraction
- urbanisation, housing and roads (human population pressures)
- unsustainable timber harvest (building material, furniture)
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