The majority of the Amazon rainforest lies within the heart of South America.
A dense mass of jungle supporting one in 10 of all plant and animal species on the planet, the Amazon is one of the most important ecosystems for life on Earth.
However, tropical rainforests worldwide are declining at an alarming rate, as habitats are cleared for settlements, farming, logging, mining, and transport routes.
Can effective ecosystem management help to lessen these devastating impacts?
Afforestation is the opposite of deforestation and is where new trees are planted to replace felled ones.
This practice helps to maintain the fertility of the soil and allows the forest to regenerate in the future.
In some areas of the Amazon, cattle farmers are charged with the responsibility of replanting land cleared for grazing.
Agroforestry is a technique where trees are left to grow beside crops.
These trees provide extra nourishment for the soil, which the roots bind with, preventing erosion.
Instead of clear-cutting large sections of forest, selective logging targets only trees that have reached a certain height.
This means that younger trees are left to grow, allowing the forest to reach full maturity again in a much shorter time.
However, selective logging is difficult to regulate.
The United Nations has set up a program offering financial incentives to countries that reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and follow sustainable practices.
However, success is limited as not all countries are involved in these initiatives.
Including Brazil, which contains the majority of the Amazon rainforest.
Laws protect certain areas of rainforest, prohibiting logging and protecting the rights of indigenous people.
This has been proven to slow deforestation, which has been found to be between 1.7 and 20 times higher outside the perimeters of protected reserves.
But this legislation can be politically controversial, as many argue it constrains local communities from utilizing natural resources.
Ecotourism is an emerging industry in this region.
It is a way of exploiting the rainforest economically without contributing to its destruction.
Effective environmental management of the tropical rainforests is essential to maintain the ecological health of our planet.
However, the political, social and economic complexities of its management prove that we are a long way from finding the answers to its long-term protection.