Logging, cattle ranching, and mining are exploiting the Amazon rain forest to the point of no return. In a recent victory, the Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) program, will preserve a full third of the Amazon.

Because of this program, Tumucumaque Mountains National Park is now the world's largest reserve. It covers 9,500,000 acres. President Cardoso of Brazil said, "Plants and animals that are endangered elsewhere will continue to thrive in our forests forever." About 30% of the world's animal, plant, and insect life inhabit Tumucumaque. Read More



 

Amazon Region Protected Areas
ARPA is a ten year effort to save an additional 33% of the Amazon.

Why We Need ARPA
PLAN TO SAVE THE AMAZON
Creating National Parks
New Amazon Reserve
ARPA RESERVES  View a list of reserves.

Pharmacy to the World  We are losing 137 species every day. Why should we care because plants have complex chemicals that contain  potential medical cures.

Plant DNA Bank Opens in Brazil

Record Drought Cripples the Amazon
Drought Fire Threaten the Amazon.

THE AMAZON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the Amazon were a country, it would be the ninth largest in the world. It is the world's greatest remaining natural resource, and the most biologically diverse place on earth. Described as the "Lungs of the Planet," it continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, and produces over 20% of our earth's oxygen.

The rain forest covers over 1.2 billion acres and nine South American countries: Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the three Guyanas. It represents 54% of the total rain forests left on earth.

The life force of the Amazon is the mighty Amazon River. It starts as a trickle high up in the snow-capped Andes mountains, and flows over 4,000 miles across the South American continent until it enters the Atlantic ocean at Belem Brazil where it is 300 miles across. The river is so deep that ocean liners can travel 2,300 miles inland. The Amazon River flows through the center of the rain forest, and is fed by 1,100 tributaries. It is the largest river system in the world. Over two-thirds of all the fresh water found on earth is in the Amazon. The Amazon River carries massive amounts of silt, and deposits it at the mouth of the river. This silt has created the largest river island in the world, Marajo Island, which is roughly the size of Switzerland. Life in the Amazon River is as abundant and diverse as the surrounding rain forest. It contains more species of fish than the entire Atlantic Ocean.

The rich diversity of plant species in the Amazon rain forest is the highest on earth. One hectare (2.47 acres) may contain over 750 types of trees, and 1,500 species of plants. The Amazon contains the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world. This amazing jungle houses more than half of the world's species of flora and fauna.

Once a vast sea of tropical forest the Amazon today is scarred by roads, farms, ranches, and dams. Brazil is gifted with a full third of the world's remaining rain forests. More than 20% of the Amazon is gone. This ocean of green, nearly as large as Australia, is being decimated like the others before it. Why? Like other rain forests already lost forever, the land is being cleared for timber, cattle ranching, mining operations, road building, hydroelectric schemes, military operations, and subsistence agriculture. Sadder still is that in many places the rain forest is burnt simply to provide charcoal to power Brazil's industrial plants. (Read More)

July, 7, 2004 - By Melissa Mathis, Greenspan

 

2007 Greenspan
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