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Colonization of the Rainforest
Image of research center 50 miles from Iquitos.  This image links to a more detailed image.Left: Research center 50 miles from Iquitos, Peru. Photo: Larry Cartmill The record for colonization in the rainforests is a dismal one. The World Bank has supported many rainforest colonization projects and continues to do so, but even it admits that "successful examples of colonization by nationals (that is, non-forest-dwelling groups) are exceedingly rare." Colonists at Angamos in the Peruvian rainforest, in a project financed by the Peruvian and Swiss governments, are unable to grow enough food to feed themselves. During the regular period of famine, the colony survives, according to a World Bank document, only by buying, but more usually stealing, food from the Matses, indigenous forest dwellers who are their neighbors. The Matses are looked on by the colonists and project officials as primitive people. Image of Rainforests being taken down in order to build a road.  This image links to a more detailed image.They have only simple tools, whereas the colonists have more sophisticated tools as well as fuel oil, pesticides, and fertilizers. Nonetheless, the Matses grow enough food to feed themselves and survive the predations of their subsidized neighbors. In spite of this and similar incidents elsewhere, colonists are never encouraged to adopt the agricultural methods, or even modifications of them, of the local people. (Caufield, 1985).

Right: This road being built in Brazil is beneficial to humans, but what about the Rainforest? Photo: NASA Earth Observation Images

[ Slash & Burn Agriculture ] [ From the Seat of the Bulldozer ] [ Regrowth in a Tropical Rainforest ]
[ Data Collection in the Amazon ] [ Colonization of the Rainforest ] [ Loving the Rainforest to Death ]
[ Frogs in the Rainforest ] [ Tropical Deforestation & Habitat Destruction ]
[ The Importance of Forests & the Perils of Deforestation ] [ Hamburgers in the Rainforest ]
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