Human response to similar climatic conditions has been more progressive in Indonesia and Malaysia. They have practiced intensive agriculture. Plantation has been established especially in Java, Sumatra and Malaysia. Malaysia and Indonesia are the leading producers of rubber in the world. Oil palm is grown in Malaysia. Mahogany, ebony, and rosewood are important trees found in this forest from which furniture is made. Many minerals like copper, iron, tin, manganese, uranium are also mined. They are exposed to the European people, who are educated and have developed civilization.
For long time the Indians of the Amazon forest lived by hunting and gathering forest products. They are far behind from the people who live at the same latitude in the east. Only some, more advanced, forest dwellers pursue shifting to agriculture. These people are not exposed to the outer and western worlds. They are less educated and have shown little development in human civilization.
The characteristics of the climate found in the equatorial zone are:
- This climate has uniformly high temperature throughout the year, the annual average being about 27°C
- Rainfall is heavy and distributed throughout the year. The conventional rains often fall in the afternoons and are generally accompanied by lightning and thunder.
- Annual rainfall is about 200 cm though some regions get higher rainfall. Humidity is high throughout year.