06 Dec 2011:
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon
Dropped to Record Low Last Year
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon dropped to a new record low during the year ending in July
, according to preliminary government data. About 2,408 square miles (6,238 square kilometers) of rainforest were cleared from August 2010 to July 2011, a 10.9 percent reduction from the previous year, when about 2,700 square miles of forest were destroyed, an analysis of satellite data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research shows. While Brazilian leaders attributed the trend to stricter enforcement of logging rules and sustainable development initiatives, analysts said slow economic growth was also a factor. The results reflect the continuation of a trend of significantly declining deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, where forest destruction peaked at about 9,650 square miles (25,000 square kilometers) annually in 2003 and 2004. The new findings come as Brazilian lawmakers prepare to vote on controversial legislation that would ease the nation’s so-called Forest Code, which requires property owners in the Amazon region to maintain 80 percent of their holdings as forest. The proposed changes, which are being pushed by the agricultural lobby, would also grant amnesty for illegal deforestation carried out before mid-2008.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.