- from Amazon
Parts of the Amazon are disappearing. Bulldozers clear roads through the forests and level land for farms, ranches, and mining operations.
For some people, these changes are hopeful signs. For others, they spell disaster.
In Brazil, where most of Amazonia lies, the population is growing very quickly. Many people are poor and without land of their own. Some government leaders believe that settling Amazonia is an answer to the population crunch. Many businesspeople believe that taking such natural resources as lumber and minerals from the rain forest will create jobs and help the economy of Brazil.
Others in Brazil and throughout the world are fighting to keep the rain forest as it is. Indigenous groups fear that cutting down more rain forest will mean the end of their way of life. Scientists, too, want to protect the rain forest. They know that we can learn a great deal from the thousands of plants and animals that exist only in the rain forests. Scientists also worry about how the loss of so much forest will affect the climate.