Millions of South Americans have been lifted out of poverty by the commodity boom during the last decade. This uplifting economic development also prompted a rush for cropland and oil, among others, that has accelerated deforestation across the region.
The 20th century saw one of the biggest ecological disasters with Brazil losing more forest each year than any other country. A report by campaigning groups states that due to over-exploitation of the Amazon region, rainfall will be expected to decrease by 20% over the Amazon basin, a heavily populated area covering large chunks of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
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