Brazil was a Portuguese colony from the landing of Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500 until 1815 when it became a united kingdom with Portugal. In 1822 the country became independent as the Brazilian Empire, but has been a republic since 1889, although the bicameral legislature, now called Congress, dates back to the ratification of the first constitution in 1824.

Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, G20 Group, Mercosul and the Union of South American Nations, and is one of the BRIC Countries. Brazil is also home to a diversity of wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.