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Brazil: Can the Cerrado be saved?

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With 5% of the world’s flora and fauna Brazil’s enormous Cerrado region is a rich mosaic of grass and woodland that is being destroyed at twice the speed of the Amazon rainforest.

Taking up one quarter of Brazil’s land mass, the Cerrado lacks the high profile of the Amazon and its celebrity supporters, which makes it easier for the rapidly expanding sugarcane and soya farmers to take bigger bites out of the savannah. This leading to the loss of unique species and the destruction of traditional ways of life in the region.

For ‘Costing the Earth’ Tim Hirsch visits the Cerrado to hear from local people who are trying to save their land by making it pay. Ice creams flavoured with unusual Cerrado fruits and bird-watching holidays for foreign tourists may not be able to compete with large-scale farming but locals hope they’ll give the area the publicity it needs for real protection.

Listen to this programme here

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