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.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.