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Brazil '98: Introduction
Brazil '98: Participants
Brazil '98: Map of Brazil
Brazil '98: Itinerary
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Introduction
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Rio de Janeiro
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Rondonio
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Roads to hell
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Deforestation
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Acre
Brazil '98: Itinerary - The working day of a Rubber Tapper in Acre
Brazil '98: Itinerary - The Chico Mendes story
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Manaus
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Para
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Dam Busters
Brazil '98: Itinerary - The Gold Rush and bombing of air strips
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Brasilia D.F.
Brazil '98: Itinerary - Rio de Janeiro and the return
Brazil '98: Debates
Brazil '98: Sponsors
Brazil '98: Brazil Facts

Before we begin our travels in the
Amazon region we start our exchange
in the city of

Rio de Janeiro

Here we hope to meet the Brazilian media and Brazilian politicians. We will also use our time in the cidade maravilhosa, marvellous city, to acclimatise and prepare for our journey ahead.
Rio de Janeiro is at the heart of Brazil’s industrial sector. It is also a city where poverty is a daily reality for the millions who live in its shanty towns. In 1992 Rio de Janeiro was the venue for the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), the Earth Summit. Both sustainable development and the role of the Amazon as a major resource for the development of Brazil were hotly debated at UNCED. Rio is therefore the perfect place to begin. Rio de Janeiro is also a pleasure seekers’ paradise. It is the home of the train robber and Sex Pistols inspiration, Ronnie Biggs and seven million cariocas, as its inhabitants are known, the ultimate pleasure seekers, who delight in their samba and football. The Maracanã Football Stadium is Brazil’s temple of football and held 200,000 fans on the occasion of Pelé’s last game. It is a tribute to the artistry of the Brazilian game. It is one of the most common ‘postcard’, tourist destinations, with its beautiful beaches, such as Ipanema/Leblon, Botafogo and Copacabana/ Leme, the sambadrome, skyscrapers, Pãu de Açúcar–sugar loaf–mountain and the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado mountain.
The city and the region in which it rests–the south-east–is a testament to the modern aspirations and potential of Brazil. The south east region, which includes the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro, is the industrial powerhouse of Brazil and Latin America. Its economic output is greater than that of any other single Latin American nation. It has the largest port in the world, Santos and one of the world’s largest car industries. Its industries supply the wealth that make Brazil’s economy the tenth largest in the world.
Yet, the city of Rio de Janeiro and the south east region also reveal the severe social problems experienced by Brazil. Rio de Janeiro is a city of extreme contrasts, reflecting the divisions and inequalities of Brazilian society: the poor scraping an existence in the shanty towns which ring the city and the rich, protected from this squalor, in their sumptuous apartments, with security guards and high fences. There are 43 million people living below the poverty line in Brazil.
The Brazilian Amazon is a massive resource which could be utilised to solve many of these problems. At the same time it is argued that sustainable development must be applied to the Amazon in order to protect its natural resources.
In Rio de Janeiro we will visit the Rocinha shanty towns or favela, as they are known in Brazil. Here we meet our first partner group. We will ask them whether they consider sustainable development to be relevant to their needs and ambitions and whether it is the best form of development for the Amazon and Brazil.
We hope to meet the media and Brazilian politicians. Rio de Janeiro is home to Brazil’s largest television, radio and press network–Rede Globo. It is also the national stronghold of Brazil’s Green Party. We aim to get news of our visit and the opinions of those from the favela broadcast on television and radio. We will also arrange for more media time on our return from the Amazon.
After a day on the beach with our partner group we set out for our first Brazilian Amazon destination, the Amazon state of Rondônia.