World Adventurer | Issue 1 | June - July 2005

Brazil breathes new life into the world

Quite apart from its reputation as a vibrant, cosmopolitan holiday destination, Brazil, as host to the majority of the crucially important Amazon rainforest, plays an important role in replenishing the world’s oxygen supply.

The Amazon, home to up to 30 percent of the world’s animal and plant species, covers an area of continuous forest larger than Australia. This area is crucial in the resupply of the world’s oxygen according to scientists of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, the world’s leading study of jungle deforestation.

“The indication is that it is a small net supplier of oxygen,” said Paulo Artaxo, a researcher at the University of Sao Paulo.

Those same researchers also caution that slashing and burning of the Amazon rainforest is still continuing at an unsustainable rate.

Travellers to the huge Latin American republic can experience the wonders of the Amazon with any number of rainforest experiences ranging from river cruises and eco-lodges to visits to remote Indian communities.

“Travelling to the Amazon is not as rugged as many people think,” says Grahame Dann, Manager Latin America for Adventure Associates, “there is a great variety of travel options designed to satisfy everyone from the casual visitor to the committed adventurer.”

The splendour of the rainforest is beautifully described by Professor Edward O. Wilson, the multi-award winning naturalist and author; “The unsolved mysteries of the rain forest are formless and seductive. They draw us forward and stir strange apprehensions. In our hearts we hope we will never discover everything. We pray there will always be a world like this one. The rain forest in its richness is one of the last repositories of that timeless dream.”