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Name: Della Curtis
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What groups are making an impact on the stopping the slash and burn of the rainforests?

That is a really tough question. There are many groups involved: the commercial agricultural and industrial interests who are clearing the land, the consumers who buy the products brought to market by the commercial groups, the UN Environmental Programme who sponsored UN resolutions to control tropical forestry, and a whole bunch of environmental organizations who have made rain-forest preservation their leading cause, not to mention the World Bank and International Monetary Fund who gave out development loans for massive projects like dam-building and road-building in countries with rainforests. Many adjustments to policy have followed from the bad publicity brought about through the efforts of environmentalists, including new screening procedures for World Bank and IMF loans that take environmental impacts into account.

Ultimately, I think the group that has the most impact in slowing tropical deforestation will be any group that can prove that more money can be made from an intact forest than from a deforested desert. Rubber tappers are one example of a group that has an economic interest in keeping the forest intact, and pharmaceutical and "bio-tech" companies are another example of groups who will bring pressure to bear to protect their economic interests in rain-forest conservation.


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