Deforestation in Critical Part of Amazon Doubled Last Year


photo: Allan Patrick/Creative Commons

An update on what we reported back in February, that deforestation in critical parts of the Amazon is shooting up again. Satellite data from Imazon shoes that deforestation in Mato Grosso doubled during August 2010-April 2011 over the same period a year earlier. Mongabay summarizes why deforestation is increasing:

Imazon and other groups say the spike in deforestation is related to the ongoing debate over Brazil's forest code. Anticipating a weakening in the code that would grant amnesty for deforestation, farmers and ranchers have been clearing swathes of forest. Dry conditions, lingering from last year's worst-ever drought, have exacerbated the situation.

In April alone 243 square kilometers of forest was cleared (a 537% increase from 2010) with forest degradation totaling 1755 square kilometers.


Mato Grosso is shown in red. Map: Wikipedia.
More on Deforestation:
Amazon Deforestation Up 1000% From Last Year
Rising Gold Prices Mean Deforestation in Peruvian Amazon Up 600%

Tags: Amazonia | Brazil | Deforestation