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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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  • 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
  • Featured video: 22-year-old produces documentary on the Peruvian Amazon
  • Over 100 scientists warn Ecuadorian Congress against oil development in Yasuni
  • Yasuni could still be spared oil drilling
  • Bird extravaganza: scientists discover 15 new species of birds in the Amazon
  • Crazy cat numbers: unusually high jaguar densities discovered in the Amazon rainforest
  • NGO: conflict of interests behind Peruvian highway proposal in the Amazon
  • Amazon: the world's greatest rainforest or internet giant?
  • 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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  • Small monkeys take over when big primates have been hunted out in the Amazon
  • Ecuador will have referendum on fate of Yasuni after activists collect over 700,000 signatures
  • Featured video: celebrities speak out for Yasuni
  • Helping the Amazon's 'Jaguar People' protect their culture and traditional wisdom
  • Gas company to drill in Manu National Park buffer zone, imperiling indigenous people
  • Indigenous groups win right to pursue Chevron assets in Canada in Amazon pollution case
  • Ecuador's government shuts down indigenous rights organization over oil battle
  • Flawed from inception? Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT initiative threatened indigenous groups wit...
  • Rebranded as the Rainforest Trust, green group launches push to protect 6M acres of Amazon rainforest
  • Amazon rainforest tribe sells REDD+ credits to Brazilian cosmetics giant
  • Isolated Amazonian tribe makes another appearance in Peru (video)
  • Colombia establishes giant rainforest park to protect 'uncontacted' tribes
  • Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone
  • Indigenous carbon conservation project gets verification, will start generating credits
  • Scientists discover high mercury levels in Amazon residents, gold-mining to blame
  • Peru delays oil drilling in the Amazon to consult with indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous tribes say effects of climate change already felt in Amazon rainforest
  • Judge halts military-backed dam assessment in Brazil's Amazon
  • Amazon River
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  • 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
  • Tribesmen launch 'occupy' protest at dam site in the Amazon rainforest
  • Scientists describe new species of see-through fish from the Amazon
  • Tribe rejects payment from electricity company behind destructive Amazon dam
  • Brazilian agency rejects Canadian company's bid to mine controversial Amazon dam site for gold
  • Amazon river ecosystems being rapidly degraded, but remain neglected by conservation efforts
  • Dams are rapidly damning the Amazon
  • Brazilian bank approves $10.8 billion loan for controversial Amazon rainforest dam
  • Amazon Watch News
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  • The Bush Doctrine Comes to Oakland Courtesy of Chevron
  • Colombian Indigenous Group Sets Conditions for Pipeline Repair
  • In The Amazon, Indigenous People Fight to Preserve Way of Life Amid Intrusive Construction
  • Illegal Logging "Plagues" the Peruvian Amazon
  • Environmentalist Kicked Out of Chevron-Sponsored Event
  • Ecuadorian Military Breaks Yasunidos Blockade
  • Environmental Activist Forcibly Removed from Chevron-Sponsored Event
  • Colombia’s U’wa – Two Decades Later, Fighting On
  • "Rivers Teach Us to Ignore Borders and Continue the Struggle"
  • Major Victory in Effort to Limit Oil Drilling in Ecuadorian Amazon
  • We Did It! ¡Todos Somos Yasunidos!
  • UK Oil Company to Expand in Territories of "Isolated" Amazon Tribes
  • Environmentalists Have Signatures for Referendum on Ecuador Oil Development
  • What Could David Beckham’s BBC Film Say About the Brazilian Amazon?
  • Ecuador Faces Vote on Yasuni Park Oil Drilling in Amazon
  • Belo Monte Under Renewed Legal Attack
  • Indigenous Leaders Targeted in Battle to Protect Forests
  • "There Are Many Chico Mendes Around the World"
  • Amazon Watch Video
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  • Thank you Metallica
  • A Message from the U'wa of Colombia
  • Klamazon
  • ¡Yasuní Depende de Ti!
  • Vozes do Xingu - Antônia Melo
  • Voices of Xingu - Antônia Melo da Silva
  • Donny Rico & Chevron make it a crime to defend the environment.
  • Press Conference on Yasuní National Park with Alberto Acosta and Vandana Shiva
  • Vozes do Xingu - Xikrin-Kayapó
  • Voices of Xingu - Xikrin-Kayapó
  • Jose Luis Santos interview
  • Pablo Fajardo's message to Richmond Residents
  • Maria Reascos, victim of Chevron contamination, on being sued by the oil giant
  • Thanks from Mayalu
  • Amazon Watch 8th Annual Luncheon Webcast
  • Amazon Watch 2013 Video Review
  • Welcome, Mayalú!
  • Voices of Xingu - Élio Alves da Silva
  • Vozes do Xingu - Élio Alves da Silva
  • Rainforest Action Network
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  • 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...
  • Rainforest Action Network Responds to General Mills’ New Palm Oil Commitment
  • Responsible Palm Oil Initiative Issues Invitation For New Members
  • Mars Inc. Responds to Palm Oil Controversy With New Global Commitment
  • Keystone XL Opponents Deliver 2 Million+ Comments
  • Progressive Groups Fighting Keystone Xl Pledge Strong Resistance
  • Forest Advocates to Staples: It’s Too Soon To Buy From Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)
  • 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