It is an honor—but also a responsibility—for any nation to be entrusted with the care of one of the most the most biodiverse, ecologically sensitive, and globally important regions of the world. The challenges of preserving the massive Amazon Rainforest would be hard for even developed nations to meet, and Brazil, despite its recent growth is still struggling to eradicate basic poverty while defending Mother Nature.
For instance, the Amazon borders eight different countries, none with adequate resources for surveillance, and tempts their impoverished private citizens and sly international interests with a tantalizing wealth of rare hardwoods and precious minerals, as well one third of the world's species and one fifth of its fresh water. Add to these traditional threats, which have inexorably gnawed away at the rainforest's edge for centuries, two new challenges: Years of drought and the construction of the world's third-largest dam. Despite Brazil's very real commitment to the Amazon, it has proven impossible to preserve the rainforest's integrity completely.