The Brazilian rainforest was for thousands of years a wonder of the natural world, but nature-loving environmentalists now lament recently changing attitudes which have had a devastating effect on Brazil's Amazonian coverage.
After pressure from lobbying groups, regulations now state that only 20% of of natural foliage must be maintained. This has led to the curious spectacle of the almost total denuding of the Brazilian treeline, apart from a thin north-south strip which is trimmed back enthusiastically at the first sign of it spreading.
"In retrospect, there seems to have been a certain inevitability to this," admitted Brian Mottram, an expert on the area. "We've been exfoliaging enthusiastically since the 80s, it's no surprise that it's almost all been stripped back. Look at what's left - it's pathetic, you don't need a map to find your way around that."
The modern-day Brazilian outlook is indeed a far cry from the glory days of the 70s, when the rainforest was allowed to flourish abundantly. "It's a terrible shame, really, that people can't be just let a good natural display of flora grow," said Mottram. "Myself, I had the good fortune to be a frequent explorer into the jungle interior back in the day, and things were very different then. You could lose yourself for what felt like weeks in there, working your way back and forth through the dense undergrowth - I was a changed man when I finally found my way out."
"Ah well, fashions come and go, I suppose," he conceded. "These days, people seen almost ashamed to have a decent forest sprouting all over, but me - I've never forgotten the steamy allure of the bush."