Greenpeace Amazon campaigner, Paulo, talks to loggers.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to billions of wildlife such as baseball-sized spiders, toothbrush-sized monkeys, etc. It is home to the worlds biggest flowers.
It is also home to over some 20 million people including hundreds of indigenous nations, some of which have never been contacted by non-indigenous people. 

Last but not least, the Amazon stores 80 to 120 billion tonnes of carbon and so helps to stabilise the planet's climate.

Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forested areas. The main sources of deforestation in the Amazon are human settlement and development of the land. Prior to the early 1960s, access to the forest's interior was highly restricted, and the forest remained basically intact. 

Farms established during the 1960s were based on crop cultivation and the slash and burn method.
However, the colonists were unable to manage their fields and the crops because of the loss of soil fertility and weed invasion.

The soils in the Amazon are productive for just a short period of time, so farmers are constantly moving to new areas and clearing more land.
These farming practices led to deforestation and caused extensive environmental damage. 

Deforestation is considerable, and areas cleared of forest are visible to the naked eye from outer space.

Between 1991 and 2000, the total area of forest lost in the Amazon rose from 415,000 to 587,000 square kilometres (160,000 to 227,000 sq mi), with most of the lost forest becoming pasture for cattle.
Seventy percent of formerly forested land in the Amazon, and 91% of land deforested since 1970, is used for livestock pasture.

This is where Greenpeace comes in.
They are campaigning to protect the Amazon from the endless encroachment of soya plantations, pastures of grazing cows and from destructive logging practices. 

They set up office in Manuas over a decade ago and, just three years later, our campaign heralded the end of the illegal mahogany trade in Brazil.

In 2006, with the help of our supporters, we convinced major soya traders operating in Brazil to agree to a two-year moratorium on soya grown in deforested areas. This moratorium is still in place - and still working to prevent deforestation.

Then we moved onto the worst offender - the Brazilian cattle industry - spending three years investigating the global trade in Amazon beef and leather from unscrupulous ranches which were destroying the Amazon. In 2009, we published our exposé, 'Slaughtering the Amazon', which persuaded the multi-national companies involved to lead cattle giants in Brazil to support a moratorium on destroying forests for cattle ranching.

Partly thanks to these moratoria, Amazon deforestation rates reached record lows in late 2010: proof that it is possible to halt deforestation at the same time as increasing economic prosperity.

But there is a long way to go before we realise our vision of zero deforestation in the Amazon - and globally. Please join the campaign to protect our forests, our biodiveristy and our environment:
Farmers and politicians of the Brazilian municipality of Juína (Mato Grosso state) hinders Greenpeace activists, OPAN (Native Amazon Operation) members and European journalists visit to the Enawene Nawe Indigenous Land. Watch truculence and intimidation scenes suffered by the crew in August 20th, 2007.
Fly through Google Earth to see deforestation in the Amazon. Then, learn how Greenpeace worked with companies to establish a moratorium on further destruction of the rainforest for soybean plantations.
Boots and training shoes are not the first things that spring to mind when you think about the causes of rainforest destruction and climate change. 'Slaughtering the Amazon' shows the connections between beef and leather production in the Amazon and illegal deforestation, financed by some of our best known global footwear brands.
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To see more videos on Amazon Rainforest Campaign.