Amazon deforestation falls by 49% in June, officials say

by Antonio Pasolini on August 15, 2010


The Brazilian Ministry of Environment last week announced that there was a 49% drop in deforestation in the Amazon region in June, compared with the same period in 2009. The data was provided by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) through its Real Time Deforestation Detection System (DETER). In total, 95.48 square miles were deforested in June, against 22317 square miles in 2009.

Officials say that deforestation has been decreasing since 2004, which was a peak year in terms of forest, although 20008 also registered an upward trend. The government has established a goal of maximum 9,000 square kilometers, established in the National Plan on Climate Change presented at the Climate Conference in Copenhagen at the end of last year.

The nine states in the Amazon region registered a fall in deforestation rates, led by Pará, with the clearing of 3474.9 square miles, followed by Mato Grosso and Amazonas, with 14 square miles and nine square miles, respectively. However, despite the reduction of deforestation across the Amazon, some states and municipalities still have alarming rates, as Novo Progresso, state of Pará.

During a press conference last Monday in Brasília, environmental minister Izabella Teixeira said that with the results of another deforestation detection system called PRODES, which measures the accumulated deforestation during the previous twelve months, the Brazilian government will be able to produce a more accurate diagnosis on the set of factors that lead to deforestation and devise new approaches to combat deforestation in critical areas.

To read more about the Amazon region, please go here.

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