Soy fields in Brazil, photo: Jeff Belmonte via flickr
The Amazon has been granted another one year reprieve from soy farming: The largely successful ban on trading of soy grown in the Amazon biome has been extended until July 2010, Greenpeace reports:Originally created in 2006, the moratorium has been successful in establishing monitoring regimes to ensure that soy cultivation does not contribute to Amazon deforestation. In fact, since the ban was enacted, cattle raising has overtaken soy farming as the leading cause of deforestation in the region, responsible for about 80% of land clearing. (Let's get a ban on that next...)
Good Progress, But Not Enough to End Moratorium
That said, the Soy Working Group believes that governance conditions and fully effective monitoring programs are not yet robust enough to suspend the moratorium.
Steps to further strengthen the ban include:
1) Adjusting the monitoring system (done by satellites, airplane, and direct field visits) so that smaller areas of deforestation can more easily be accounted for;
2) Establishment of registration of rural properties, so that its exact location and owner can be more easily identified -- as well as encouragement at the federal level for support of a better structure for the state organizations responsible for registration and licensing of farms.
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