Since 2013, Costa Rica’s dry tropical forests have been under siege from loggers looking to cash in on skyrocketing demand for precious hardwoods, especially cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), also known as tropical rosewood. The illegal logging of cocobolo and other precious hardwoods threatens Costa Rica’s famous but understaffed national parks as loggers look to protected areas as the last untapped source of valuable lumber for export.
The people of Santa María de Fátima, a small Amazonian community in Peru, started an ecotourism project by turning a swamp close to their village into a bird-watchers’ paradise. The herons whose eggs they once consumed now attract tourists from all over the world.
Two indigenous groups in the Amazon have taken radical action to reduce illegal logging, tying up loggers, torching their trucks and tractors, and kicking them off the reserves. As a result, such logging has sharply declined in these territories.