Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon drops to decade low

13:41, December 02, 2010      

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Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest region totaled 6,451 square km between August 2009 and July 2010, the lowest level since 1988, official figures showed Wednesday.

According to Gilberto Camara, director of the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), the figure was 14 percent down from 7,600 square km in the previous corresponding period.

Brazil has been striving to reduce deforestation in the rainforest region through Prodes (Amazon Deforestation Monitoring Project), which uses satellite technology to monitor areas that suffer deforestation, and calculates the annual figures.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira called the figures "fantastic", saying Brazil was moving closer to the target of reducing deforestation in the Amazon by 80 percent by 2020 -- a goal set by the Brazilian government at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen last December.

The commitment means that the South American nation must reduce annual deforestation rates to around 3,500 square km in 10 years' time.

Brazil believes that its success in reducing deforestation would give it the a moral authority to urge other countries to adopt more ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions at global climate change negotiations.

Despite reduction in deforestation, the total deforestation area in the country is still larger in size than the capital city of Brasilia.

The north state of Para registered the largest deforested area with 3,710 square km, followed by the state of Mato Grosso in the midwest region, which lost 828 square km of forests.

Source: Xinhua


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