In the second half of the XXth century governments started a massive campaign of Amazon colonization. These campaigns, principally in Brazil, were very effective, creating roads, cities and giving benefits for migration. This is where the problems for the Amazon rainforest began, just in the last 50 years from a history of some millions of years. In the last half century 15% of the Amazon rainforest was deforested mostly by fires. Today the world has come to realize the Amazon rainforest problems and everywhere people are concerned about what they should do to help avoiding its destruction. Public awareness of this subject started slowly in the '70s alongside with the environmental movement. In the '90s, with the World Convention on the Environment the eyes were again on the Amazon rainforest and from that event until today the public is each day more concerned and aware of what happens in the Amazon region. Government policies from the Amazon region countries already started to address these problems, but they usually lack objectivity and resources to fully implement the chosen strategies. Today, there is wide area of protected areas like National Parks, Ecologic Stations and Biological Reserves to protect biodiversity. There are also a number of indigenous reservations to preserve their cultures. These are great, but if you take a closer look you will see a lack of financial resources to keep these areas really protected, fully equipped and with operational capacity to fight all the threats that are hurting the Amazon rainforest today. (source: amazon-rainforest.org)
What can we do to help preserve the Amazon rainforest? We can choose carefully our food, avoiding what results from deforestation. Most of palm oil, soya, sugar, meat, directly or not, come from deforested land, so it's essential at least to label these products correctly. The wood for our homes also come in great amount from deforested land, together with paper for all uses: we must demand a certified sustainable origin for all the products we use.
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