Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 18:24 UK

Who decides the fate of the Amazon?

Logging in the Amazon
The key to the earth's climate, ecological diversity and its very character are said to lie in Amazon's wilderness, one sixth of which has already been lost to logging and growing crops. Is exploiting the rainforest a solution?

The Amazon, 65% of it in one country, Brazil, is now home to millions of people drawn to this last frontier by the money to be made from logging, ranching and growing new crops.

The huge surge in the price of food increases the incentive for replacing forest with crops, and offers Brazil a way out of poverty and a way of responding to new demands for food.

Today the BBC World Service and the BBC News website is providing special coverage from Brasilia and various parts of the Amazon.

We talk to all those involved in logging - legal and illegal - in farming and in policing and governing this vast area.

We explore their lives, their motives and their concerns - and how they consider the pressure on them from across the world.

We ask whether there is a way to both exploit the forest and save the forest? And we look at new ways of trying to balance the economic development of Brazil with the calls for more protection of the forest.

Are you affected by what is happening to the Amazon? Do you live there? Should Amazon be preserved at all or should it be exploited even more for logging and for growing more food? What solutions do you propose? Are you in another part of the world affected by similar issues?


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