Greenpeace march to save the Amazon
Environmental activists were joined by a samba band as they marched through the streets of London in an effort to save the rainforests.

Environmental activists were on the march around the world to save the Amazonian rainforests on Tuesday.

Accompanied by a samba band, Greenpeace campaigners and activists paraded from Hyde Park to the Brazilian Embassy in Mayfair in a last-ditch effort to save the Amazon before new legislation that gives loggers amnesty faces the final vote in Brazilian parliament.

The London march was part of a worldwide effort which saw similar activities take place in other cities across the globe including Paris, Rome, Berlin, Mexico City and Washington DC.

The activities were a reminder to Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff that almost 80 per cent of Brazilians want the Amazon protected.

Six years of declining Amazon deforestation came to a halt in 2011, when the level of destruction significantly increased.

Experts have blamed the rise on a predicted weakening of the Forest Code - a piece of legislation that dates back to 1965 and is designed to protect the world's largest rainforest. The revised code, which is about to be put to a final vote, is expected to have a clause granting amnesty to those currently engaged in illegal deforestation.

The amended Forest Code is due to go before the Brazilian senate, and then return to the House of Representatives before the bill is submitted to the president for approval.

British High Street giants, including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, McDonalds, Asda, the Co-op, Nike, Timberland and Clarks, have all expressed concern about the increasing destruction in the in Amazon and a weakened Forest Code.

Gabriela Goncalves, who grew up in the city of Belém, Brazil,on the fringes of the Amazon forest, joined the march in London to help highlight the issue.

"The Amazon is hugely important to the people of Brazil and that's why around 80 percent of us want to see it protected," Goncalves said in a statement released by Greenpeace. "President Rousseff has a chance right now to save the Amazon and I'm here today at my country's embassy to ask her to do just that - for the people of Brazil and for the planet."

Greenpeace forest campaigner Sarah Shoraka said an overwhelming majority of Brazilian people want to see the Amazon protected and that they are supported by international companies.

"But right now President Rousseff is the Amazon's last hope," Shoraka said in a statement. "So we're here in London and at embassies around the world to ask her to stop the chainsaws and save the rainforest."

Deforestation is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil, according to Greenpeace.

The World Wildlife Fund started a campaign that urged the Brazilian president to veto the proposed act. On Tuesday, WWF officials handed in the petition of 1.5 million signatures from Brazilians outside the parliament building in Brasilia, the nation's capital.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is due to be held in Rio de Janeiro next year on what will be the 20th anniversary of the original UN Conference on Environment and Development that was held the in the same city.