The Amazon is a land of superlatives. It is home to the world's largest river flowing though the world's largest rainforest and home to the world's largest snake spider catfish rodent anteater armadillo and alligator species. It is also home to approximately 390 billion trees and plays a vital role in stabilizing the global climate cycle. Yet it is a threatened world as people both within and without the region are eager to extract its riches. This course examines the past present and likely future of Amazonia from the first pre-Columbian settlers over 10000 years ago to the 70 remaining uncontacted tribes; and evaluates present threats (such as fires cattle and mining) and possibilities of sustainable development (such as ecotourism and non-timber forest products).
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
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