FILE PHOTO OF YANOMAMI INDIANS NEAR BURNED AND CLEARED AMAZON JUNGLE SURROUNDINGS.
File photo showing Yanomami Indians outside their Amazon jungle hut after burning and clearing the landscape, in the northern state of Roraima on March 16, 1998. The rate of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rose 2.1 percent last year as farmers encroached on the world's largest jungle, the government said on April 7, 2004. The Amazon, an area of continuous tropical forest that is larger than Western Europe, has been described as the "lungs of the world" because of its vast capacity to produce oxygen. Environmentalists fear its destruction because it is home to up to 30 percent of the planet's animal and plant species and is an important source of medicines. Most of the deforestation takes place due to burning and logging to create farms. REUTERS/Gregg Newton/FILE GN