Saving the Amazon, from forest floor up

Posted by Trish Riley, December 11, 2011

Just three years ago, the manmade fires here were so fierce smoke would blot out the Amazon sky, turning the days dark. Towering rainforest trees exploded in flames, their canopies cleared to let pasture grow for cattle.The ash that snowed down onto this jungle town was shin-deep. Dirty layers hid red-hot timber chunks, glowing coals that burned the bare feet of children walking through the cinder drifts.Paragominas was losing forest faster than nearly any other place in the Amazon.Today, the town has risen from those ashes to become a pioneering "Green City," a model of sustainability with a new economic approach that has seen illegal deforestation virtually halted. Experts say the metamorphosis is the best hope for showing the 25 million people who live in the Amazon that the forest is worth more alive than dead.

via STLtoday – Associated Press.

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