The rubber tree is native to the Amazon rainforest, but rubber plantations have spread across every tropical forest region. These plantations are increasingly large-scale, intensively-managed and have even-aged trees. The rubber is used for industrial purposes, such as the production of car tires. In some regions, small-scale rubber plantations are part of peasant farming. In the Amazon region, rubber continues to be extracted from trees that grow in the forest.
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How are forest crimes defined? In Thailand, forest-dependant communities, rather than the government and companies carrying out large-scale deforestation, became scapegoats for this destruction. (Available in Thai).
The industrial production of natural rubber has always been synonymous with destruction and exploitation. About 70% is used to manufacture tires. As the use of cars, trucks and airplanes increases, the use of rubber will also increase. And this does not come without controversy.