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Cerrado

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 05 May 2010

With 5% of the world's flora and fauna Brazil's enormous Cerrado region is a rich mosaic of grass and woodland that is being destroyed at twice the speed of the Amazon rainforest.

Taking up one quarter of Brazil's land mass the Cerrado lacks the high profile of the Amazon or its celebrity supporters, making it easier for the fast expanding sugarcane and soya industries to take bigger bites out of the savannah. That can mean the loss of unique species and the destruction of traditional ways of life in the region.

For 'Costing the Earth' Tim Hirsch visits the Cerrado to hear from local people who are trying to save their land by making it pay. Ice creams flavoured with unusual Cerrado fruits and bird-watching holidays for British tourists may not be able to compete with large-scale farming but locals hope they'll give the area the publicity it needs for real protection.

  • Dona Eva makes conserves from native fruits

    Dona Eva makes conserves from native fruits

  • The front line between Cerrado and development

    The front line between Cerrado and development

  • Bees are vital to the health of the region.

    Bees are vital to the health of the region.

  • Large swathes of the Cerrado are now used for sugar cane production.

    Large swathes of the Cerrado are now used for sugar cane production.

    Photo courtesy of Sabrina Shaw. All other photos by Tim Hirsch.

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