Overall, most rainforests are lost because of the poverty of rural people. Many either migrate to cities, where they become part of the vast numbers of urban poor, or follow logging roads into rain forests in search of land. In the long run, the alleviation of poverty in tropical countries is essential for the preservation of rainforests. However, this is and will be extremely difficult and will require quite different policies and actions on the part of governments than are currently in force. Equitable land reform is a prerequisite, but an action which governments are loathe to take for political reasons.

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