This atlas is the first of a series of three intended to give a factual basis to the forest conservation debate and aims to present a rigorous scientific basis for the current debate about precious ecosystems. In part I, the issues at stake are discussed with chapters amongst others on forest wildlife, people of the forest (the case of the forest people under threat is very sensibly discussed in this chapter), shifting cultivation, natural rain forest management, tropical timber trade, the protected areas system, etc. The chapters are written by many different authors, nicely illustrated with colour photographs, and maps and/or graphs where appropriate. At the end of each chapter references are given. This part alone is already unique in the amount of relevant information.