Management of land degradation in the rainforest

Developing countries like Brazil need to exploit the Amazon's resources to develop, so leaving it untouched is not an option.

Uncontrolled and unchecked exploitation can cause irreversible damage such as loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, flooding and climate change.

Sustainable use of the forest is essential. Sustainable development can meet the needs of Brazil's population without compromising the needs of future generations.

Possible strategies include:

Agro-forestry - growing trees and crops at the same time. This lets farmers take advantage of shelter from the canopy of trees. It prevents soil erosion and the crops benefit from the nutrients from the dead organic matter.

Selective logging - trees are only felled when they reach a particular height. This allows young trees a guaranteed life span and the forest will regain full maturity after around 30-50 years.

Education - ensuring those involved in exploitation and management of the forest understand the consequences of their actions.

Afforestation - the opposite of deforestation. If trees are cut down, they are replaced to maintain the canopy.

Forest reserves - areas protected from exploitation, purchased by conservation groups or the government.

Returning forest areas to indigenous people - reintroduction of traditional ways of life will eventually reverse the effects of deforestation.

Monitoring - use of satellite technology and photography to check that any activities taking place are legal and follow guidelines for sustainability.

The video below describes rainforest sustainability in Costa Rica.