The Atlantic Forest, also known as Mata Atlantica, once covered 130 million hectares across Brazil. Now, this tropical rainforest ecosystem is home to more than half of the country’s population. Centuries of deforestation for timber, sugar cane, coffee, cattle ranching, and urban sprawl have reduced the size of the forest by over 90%. Although the water supply for Brazil’s two most populous cities (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) comes from this forest, there is a lack of public policies and resources to protect it.
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