The people living in the rainforest areas are among the poorest and least educated in the world. For this reason it is tempting for them to seek short term solutions to the improvement of their lives rather than long-term viable solutions to saving and developing the source of their income. The temptation to convert rainforests to pasture or arable land to achieve short term value is often too great to resist for the locals.
When faced with illegal conversion pressures from large scale agricultural operators, local and indigenous people have very few economic arguments and legal means with which to oppose the destructive processes.
It is a challenge to start and run sustainable and responsible forestry operations in the rainforest areas and usually the know-how is not present among the people living in the rainforest, hence support and investments is needed from the outside world.