All sorts of uses for hemp (cannabis): Although marijuana and hemp are related, hemp is not a drug. Hemp also contains the drug known as tetrahydrocannabinol (TLC) in a low concentration (less than 1%), and it therefore does not have any narcotic effect. Hemp contains more cannabidiol (CBD) in the leaves and seeds, which is used for various ailments such as infection, some types of cancer and cancerous growths, anxiety, epilepsy and nausea. The stem of the plant produces fibre, used for many products such as material for making clothes, denim, handbags and shoes, paper for printing or packaging, string, tarpaulins and canvas, carpets and car parts. Hemp seeds can be used as a health supplement and as an ingredient in animal and bird feed. The seeds can also be pressed to manufacture cooking oil, margarine, soap, bath products and make-up, oil paint and varnish, as well as fuel. Hemp leaves are used to manufacture building material such as hardboard, insulation material, cement and as a replacement for fibreglass. (Source: House of Hemp & Leaf Science, August 2015).

Brazilian forests: Brazil has the largest network of protected areas of any country on earth and strict logging rules, which require big landowners in the Amazon to maintain at least 50% of their holdings in native forest. There is, however, a widening gap between the stringent laws and the often non-existent enforcement. There is also a booming trade in contraband timber. Equally worrying is a recent spate of dam construction in order to tap the vast hydropower potential in the Amazon. And a relatively new threat, hydrocarbon development, is booming in the western Amazon, where oil and natural gas fields are being discovered every year (Richard Schiffman, Our Fragile Planet, no 17, May 2015).