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While many groups are lauding Rio de Janeiro’s efforts to save the Atlantic Forest from destruction, by erecting “eco-barriers” in the city. The over 10-foot barriers to be erected are supposed to solve the problem of urban sprawl – preventing further devastation to over 20,000 species of plants and animals who call the forest home. But critics are questioning the real motives behind building these so-called “eco-barriers” in the city – is it to protect the environment or the cover up the many slums around Rio? With the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics, detractors are saying that that the wall will be used to shield the slums from visitors. The government is denying any of this, naturally, and emphasized the need to protect the natural environment. Some neighborhoods though, have come up with alternatives, such as the Rocinha Favela, which plans to build a city park that will have community spaces and green paths for everyone. Read the full article here