Nearing the tipping point: drivers of deforestation in the Amazon region

The largest tropical rainforest on the planet, the Amazon plays a critical role as a storehouse of carbon and mediator of the global water cycle and holds a greater share of the world’s known biodiversity than any other ecosystem. However, according to “Nearing the Tipping Point: Drivers of Deforestation in the Amazon Region,” a new report by the Inter-American Dialogue in collaboration with the Andes Amazon Fund, unchecked development is placing the Amazon under threat, pushing deforestation rates to near-record levels throughout the region. The main causes of deforestation vary between countries—from cattle ranching and soy production to infrastructure development, land grabbing, and illegal gold mining, the report finds.