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Inside the Amazon rainforest:

The region's rainforest is spread across the Amazon River Basin (approx. 6.7 million km2), a vast natural tropical area more than half of which is located in Brazil. The basin also covers parts of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Guyana.

A considerable number of the world's plants and animals live in the Amazon, most of which remain undiscovered by scientists. Amazon wildlife shares this huge space with some 30 million people, including more than 220 indigenous groups in the Brazilian Amazon, 40 in Peru and 10 in Ecuador. In Venezuela, some 17 indigenous languages are spoken in the Amazon part of the country. This number is dwarfed by the Bolivian and Colombian Amazon, where 33 and 52 indigenous languages respectively are in use.

Tropical Deforestation:

The organic material and nutrients in a tropical rainforest are found in the vegetation itself, not in the soil. This eroded hillside along a river in Amazonia shows the infertile soil typical of tropical environments (pinkish-tan) topped by a very thin layer of fertile soil and forest detritus (brown):

The Amazon accounts for more than half of the world's rainforest. No other ecosystem on Earth is home to so many species nor exerts such control on the carbon cycle. For years the Amazon forest acted as a vast carbon sink that absorbed one fifth of global fossil fuel emissions. But in 2005 this process was reversed.

Between May 2000 and August 2006, Brazil lost nearly 150,000 square kilometers (58,000 square miles) of forest and since 1970, over 600,000 sq km (232,000 sq mi) of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed.Deforestation in the Amazon

24 times more area than the crater associated with dinosaur extinction.


Films and Video

NOSSA TERRA: OUR LANDKA'APOR INDIAN DOCUMENTARY—An exclusive look inside the word of Kaapor People of Brazil as they struggle to keep their land and their culture. Includes a tour of the forest and how they hunt, find water, and use the forest for their survival.

From the Heart of the WorldThe Elder Brothers' Warning—This is the last civilization of pre-Columbian America that vanished 400 years ago. It did not die - it went into hiding. For centries the Kogi have watched us from their mountain fastness. This film is their message, and their warning... (Also see ALUNA)

THE SECRET OF EL DORADO: Terra preta—This is the story of how archaeologists have uncovered the lost civilisation behind the myth of El Dorado, but this was not a kingdom of gold. The secret of the real El Dorado was something far more valuable, something with the power to transform our world.

A Message from Pandora
A special feature produced by James Cameron about the battle to stop the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu, one of the great tributaries of the Amazon River.

Amazon: In the hands of a few
Farmers and politicians of the Brazilian municipality of Juína (Mato Grosso state, Map) hinder Greenpeace activists, OPAN (Native Amazon Operation) members and European journalists' visit to the Enawene Nawe Indigenous Land.

"Respect the forest as another human being on this planet."
Chief Almir Surui


Google Earth Files

REAL TIME DATA



Forest News

Amazon Biodiversity
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  • New tapir? Scientists dispute biological discovery of the century
  • Scientists uncover five new species of 'toupee' monkeys in the Amazon
  • No longer 'deaf as a stump': researchers find turtles chirp, click, meow, cluck
  • Scientists: Neotropical otter should not be considered threatened
  • Camera trap captures first ever video of rarely-seen bird in the Amazon...and much more
  • After throwing out referendum, Ecuador approves oil drilling in Yasuni's embattled heart
  • Of jaguars and loggers: new film to showcase one of the least-known regions in the deep Amazon
  • Oil or rainforest: new website highlights the plight of Yasuni National Park
  • Scientist discovers a plethora of new praying mantises (pictures)
  • Several Amazonian tree frog species discovered, where only two existed before
  • Amazon trees super-diverse in chemicals
  • New $20,000 reporting grant explores benefits of Amazonian protected areas
  • Featured video: camera traps catch jaguars, anteaters, and a sloth eating clay in the Amazon rainforest
  • High-living frogs hurt by remote oil roads in the Amazon
  • Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013
  • Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century: a new tapir
  • Could camera trap videos galvanize the world to protect Yasuni from oil drilling?
  • Scientist splits Amazonian giants into separate species
  • Amazon Logging
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  • Next big idea in forest conservation? Quantifying the cost of forest degradation
  • Mother of God: meet the 26 year old Indiana Jones of the Amazon, Paul Rosolie
  • Brazil begins evicting illegal settlers from hugely-imperiled indigenous reserve
  • Brazil's military takes on illegal loggers to protect nearly-extinct tribe
  • Amazonian students help monitor threatened frog populations
  • Featured video: Earth Day message from indigenous tribes in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Illegally logged trees to start calling for help
  • Forests, farming, and sprawl: the struggle over land in an Amazonian metropolis
  • Evidence of 'isolated' indigenous people found in Peru where priest is pushing highway
  • Experts: sustainable logging in rainforests impossible
  • Over 700 people killed defending forest and land rights in past ten years
  • U.S. car manufacturers linked to Amazon destruction, slave labor
  • Can loggers be conservationists?
  • Featured video: How to save the Amazon
  • U.S. gobbling illegal wood from Peru's Amazon rainforest
  • Climate change could increase fires, logging, and hunting in rainforests
  • Tourism for biodiversity in Tambopata
  • Photo of the Day: Critically Endangered brown spider monkey discovered in park
  • Amazon People
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  • Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014
  • Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit
  • Giant stone face unveiled in the Amazon rainforest (video)
  • Threatened indigenous forests store more than half the Amazon's carbon
  • What we can learn from uncontacted rainforest tribes
  • A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists
  • An impossible balancing act? Forests benefit from isolation, but at cost to local communities
  • Turning point for Peru's forests? Norway and Germany put muscle and money behind ambitious agree...
  • 'The green Amazon is red with indigenous blood': authorities pull bodies from river that may...
  • 4 Ashaninka tribesmen killed by loggers in Peru
  • Brazil releases video showing first contact with rainforest tribe
  • Phone-based logging alert system eyes expanding to the Amazon
  • A garden or a wilderness? One-fifth of the Amazon may have been savannah before the arrival of Europ...
  • Using Google Earth to protect uncontacted tribes in the Amazon rainforest
  • 53 indigenous activists on trial for police-protester massacre in Peru
  • New report reveals human rights abuses by corporations, governments in the Amazon
  • Stolen information may derail Yasuni drilling referendum
  • Small monkeys take over when big primates have been hunted out in the Amazon
  • Amazon River
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  • Groups call on world leaders to stop incentives for big dams
  • Brazilian tribes demarcate territory in bid to block dams
  • Brazil cancels Tapajos dam auction due to indigenous concerns
  • Brazil's planned Tapajós dams would increase Amazon deforestation by 1M ha
  • Peruvian oil spill sparks concern in indigenous rainforest community
  • Oil drilling causes widespread contamination in the Amazon rainforest
  • Uncovering the impact of big banks on the Amazon
  • New dolphin discovered in the Amazon surprises scientists
  • Rainforest news review for 2013
  • Gold mine near controversial Belo Monte dam suspended
  • Belo Monte dam suspended
  • Judge halts construction of Amazon dam on Brazil's Teles Pires river
  • Indigenous peoples resume occupation of Brazil's Belo Monte dam site
  • Forgotten species: the arapaima or 'dinosaur fish'
  • Stand up paddleboarding in the Amazon for conservation
  • Mystery of Amazon River carbon emissions solved
  • Amazon's flood/drought cycle becoming more extreme, less predictable
  • Deforestation will undercut effectiveness of rainforest dams
  • Amazon Watch News
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  • The Amazon Oil Spills Overlooked by Environmental Leaders in Lima
  • People Power for Climate Justice!
  • Epic Chevron Battle Lands in Canadian Court
  • Amazonian Tribe Take Initiative to Protect Their Lands from Dam Project
  • Belo Monte, Brazil: The Tribes Living in the Shadow of a Megadam
  • Murder in the Rainforest
  • Indigenous Voices: A Call to Keep the Oil in the Ground
  • Thousands of Marchers Demand Just Solution at UN Climate Talks in Lima
  • Thousands in Lima March for Climate Justice!
  • Chevron Maneuvering to Block Ecuadorian Villagers from Enforcing $9.5 Billion Judgment in Canadian C...
  • COP20 Lima: Amazon Watch on Democracy Now!
  • Fracking, REDD, Lima Climate Talks...All Slammed at Nature Rights Tribunal
  • ¡Amazonía Viva! Art and Action at COP20
  • Ecuador Indigenous Leader Found Dead Days Before Planned Lima Protest
  • Ecuador's Crackdown on Critics on Full Display as COP20 Climate Conference Begins
  • Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change Revealed in Massive Art Action at COP20
  • ¡Amazonia Viva! Amazon Watch at COP20
  • After Years of Decline, Deforestation in the Amazon Might Be on the Rise Again
  • Amazon Watch Video
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  • Human Banner at COP20 in Lima
  • Free Tapajos
  • Donny Rico Episode #4: T'anks Judge!
  • Save Yasuni message from Oscar winner Jared Leto.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio joins the People's Climate March NYC
  • Mark Ruffalo joins Amazon Watch at indigenous sunrise ceremony NYC
  • Esperanza Martinez at This Changes Everything talk with Naomi Klein
  • KEEP THE OIL IN THE GROUND
  • ENERGY FOR LIFE
  • Donny Rico Episode #3: Legal Tender (Chevron legal "thuggery against Ecuadorians)
  • Thank you from Aura Tegria
  • Donny Rico Episode #2: Who's Bribin' Who? (in Chevron's "case" against Ecuador...
  • Día Internacional Anti Chevron
  • Colombia's U'wa Indigenous People Call for International Solidarity
  • Thank you Metallica
  • A Message from the U'wa of Colombia
  • Klamazon
  • ¡Yasuní Depende de Ti!
  • Vozes do Xingu - Antônia Melo
  • Rainforest Action Network
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  • Contested KLK Palm Oil Leases Declared Illegal by Papua New Guinea Court
  • Global Day of Action Targets Conflict Palm Oil; Activists Say PepsiCo’s New Commitment ‘...
  • Report Finds Sector-Wide Shift as Publishing Industry Embraces Social and Environmental Responsibility
  • Shareholders Press Bank of America for Coal and Climate Finance
  • RAN Welcomes APP’s Commitment to Restore One Million Hectares of Rainforest
  • PepsiCo Focus of Major New Palm Oil Campaign by Rainforest Action Network, Union of Concerned Scient...
  • Report Finds Top Banks Moving Away From Coal: Citigroup and Barclays seen as laggard
  • Cargill Announces Intent to Strengthen its Palm Oil Policy
  • Report: Child Labor, Land Grabbing and Deforestation Rampant Across Palm Oil Giant KLK’s Opera...
  • The Prince's Rainforests Project
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  • Agricultural private sector meeting at the Royal Society to present the outcomes of regional workshops
  • Private sector proposes alternatives to agricultural expansion into forests
  • Agreement on rainforest financing – An emergency package is created!
  • HRH The Prince of Wales Addresses Oslo Climate and Forest Conference
  • International Conference on the Major Forest Basins
  • Forest outcomes from Copenhagen
  • The Prince of Wales addresses the Copenhagen Climate Conference
  • The Prince of Wales hails a significant step forward in finding a solution to deforestation
  • Second Life Rainforest Concert
  • Frogs go out on the town!



  • "Those who refused to sell found themselves encircled by an encroaching wasteland, as whining chain saws and raging fires consumed the trees right up to the edge of their land. Their yards were overrun with vipers, bees, and rodents escaping the apocalypse, and when tractors began spraying the cleared fields, toxic clouds of pesticides drifted into their homes..."

    Last of the Amazon
    During the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rain forest has been cut down—more than in all the previous 450 years since European colonization began. Scientists fear that an additional 20 percent of the trees will be lost over the next two decades. If that happens, the forest's ecology will begin to unravel.


    Human Pressure on the Brazilian Amazon Forests--KML 


    How many tree species are there in the Amazon
    and how many of them will go extinct?
    The Amazon Basin has about 50,000 described vascular plant species of which approximately half are woody. Of these, approximately half are trees. This yields an estimate of 12,500 tree species in the entire Amazon Basin. Under the non-optimistic deforestation scenario 3,656 tree species (32.6%) are predicted to go extinct...But even under the optimistic deforestation scenario, 2,228 tree species (19.9%) are predicted to go extinct.


    Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research suggests that the felling is both drying up the entire forest and helping to cause the hurricanes that have been battering the United States and the Caribbean. The hot, wet Amazon normally evaporates vast amounts of water, which rise high into the air as if in an invisible chimney. This draws in the wet north-East trade winds, which have picked up moisture from the Atlantic. This in turn controls the temperature of the ocean; as the trade winds pick up the moisture, the warm water that is left gets saltier and sinks.

    Deforestation disrupts the cycle by weakening the Amazonian evaporation which drives the whole process. One result is that the hot water in the Atlantic stays on the surface and fuels the hurricanes. Another is that less moisture arrives on the trade winds, intensifying drought in the forest. "We believe there is a vicious cycle" says Dr. Antonio Nobre.

    So far about a fifth of the Amazonian rainforest has been razed completely. Another 22 per cent has been harmed by logging, allowing the sun to penetrate to the forest floor drying it out. And if you add these two figures together, the total is growing perilously close to 50 per cent, which computer models predict as the "tipping point" that marks the death of the Amazon.Dying Forest

    Zero Deforestation is a Climate Imperative