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Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon increased by a third over the past year

Saturday, November 16th 2013 - 06:54 UTC
Full article 13 comments
However Minister Texeira said the overall trend was 'positive' However Minister Texeira said the overall trend was 'positive'

Deforestation in the Amazon increased by nearly a third over the past year, according to Brazilian government figures released this week, confirming a feared reversal in what had been steady progress over the past decade against destruction of the world's largest rainforest.

 Satellite data for the 12 months through the end of July showed that deforestation in the region climbed by 28% compared with a year earlier. Although scattered, the total land cleared during the period amounted to 5,843 square km, an area almost the size of the US state of Delaware.

The figure, boosted partly by expanding farms and a rush for land around big infrastructure projects, is the second-lowest annual tally since Brazil's space agency began tracking deforestation. But it fulfilled predictions by scientists and environmentalists, based on preliminary figures compiled through the year, that destruction was on the rise again.

“You can't argue with numbers,” said Marcio Astrini, coordinator for the Amazon campaign at the Brazilian chapter of Greenpeace, the environmentalist group. “This is not alarmist - it's a real and measured inversion of what had been a positive trend.”

Brazil tracks the amount of land cleared each year as part of its efforts to protect the Amazon, a Western European-sized jungle that is an abundant source of the world's oxygen and fresh water and considered by scientists to be a crucial buffer against climate change.

Izabella Teixeira, Brazil's environment minister, dismissed criticisms that government policies had led to the increase. She pointed to the long-term decrease in deforestation over the past decade and said the overall trend was “positive.”

The government's goal, Teixeira told a news conference in Brasilia, “is to eliminate illegal deforestation in the Amazon”.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    What is it with these Brazilian “Ministers”? Are they really as stupid as they claim to be every time they open their mouths?

    “The government's goal, Teixeira told a news conference in Brasilia, “is to eliminate illegal deforestation in the Amazon”. She should have gone on to complete the comment in line with the facts that: “but it’s OK when the government says it’s OK, and it’s OK, was that OK, Dilma?”

    I think she must be taking lessons in lying from the Biggest Liar in Brazil: Mantega, the so called “Finance Minister” who knows nothing about finance.

    Is she a relative of Dilma perchance, they look like sisters?

    Nov 16th, 2013 - 11:28 am 0
  • CabezaDura

    The world has lost forests the equivalent size of Argentina over the last 12 years.
    Latam countries are the most irresponsible of the world guarding its forests

    It seems that in the last years deforestation has being decreasing, but that probably is because there is not much left to deforest by now … After Brazil eats up what’s left of the rain forest, Russia, the Scandinavian countries and Canada will have to start charging fees for maintaining the world’s supply of oxygen, and the Brazilians should pay the highest fees

    Nov 16th, 2013 - 11:46 am 0
  • Room101

    Major environmental problems heading your way, Brazil, for short-term benefits.

    Nov 16th, 2013 - 05:28 pm 0
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