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A woman picks up her melons using a wooden stick and basket in China's Xishuangbanna region. In the 1940s and 1950s China's Xishuangbanna region was a remote tropical rainforest, China's only one. Since then the government and people of Xishuangbanna have begun a completely devestating assult on the environment. Slash and burn agriculture, and wholesale destruction of the tropical rain forest, has lifted much of the region out of abject poverty, but at a serious cost. Today Xishuangbanna is a shadow of its former self. New highways, tea plantations, rubber tree plantations and sugar cane dominate the landscape. Temperature rises and soil erosion are now common place. Some estimates place Xishuangbanna to be a dust bowl within the next 30 years. A sad end for what was one of Asia's most pristine tropical rain forests.