Last updated: 20 november, 2009 - 17:26 GMT

Rainforest Roadway

How life in the Amazon rainforest changed forever when a road was built through its heart.

children of the Amazon rainforest

'Forest time' is the name indigenous people of the Amazon gave to life before modern times.

But these days 'forest time' is a term of nostalgia - life in the Brazilian rainforest has changed forever since a new highway cut through its heart.

Back in 'forest time', the only contact with the outside world were with the rubber tappers who did not harm the rainforest.

But then the road came and everything changed.

As the traditional footpaths gave way to a highway, it cut through 2 000 miles of forest.

It brought farmers, loggers and cattle ranchers, whose clearing and burning destroyed the forest.

In 1987, before the road arrived, Brazilian filmmaker Denise Zmekhol went to meet the local tribespeople and experience their way of life.

Recently she decided to return to find out how things have changed since the arrival of the highway.

Denise Zmekhol spoke to Ritula Shah and told her what she found.

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Find out more about Denise Zmekhol's documentary click Children of the Amazon

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