Amazon Deforestation Slows Last Year, but 8,147 Square Kilometers Still Chopped Down

amazon forest burning photo

photo: Leonardo F. Freitas

Though Brazil has made a number of moves towards monitoring and slowing rates of Amazon deforestation of late which seem to be beginning to work, the Amazon's future still does not look so good, Worldwatch Institute reports.

The bad news is that between August 2007 and July 2008, 8,147 square kilometers of forest were cleared, with 84% of that occurring between August 2007-April 2008. The good news is that this amount is the lowest increase since deforestation first was monitored in the 1970s, and only a 69% increase from last year.

So, what’s Brazil doing to address the situation? He’s a (very) brief rundown:Brazil’s Growing Efforts to Halt the Cutting
About a month ago they established The Amazon Fund to raise up to $21 billion to fight deforestation.

They’ve launched a satellite to monitor deforestation, not just at home but throughout the tropics.

Landowners must provide environmental permits to prove they haven’t cleared land in order to secure bank loans.

The move towards producing ethanol more sustainably is gaining ground, and a Brazilian soy industry ground has agreed to not purchase soybeans produced on land cleared after 2006 (Mongbay).

Deforestation Slowing = Good, Chopping Down the Amazon is Still Bad
Whether you see those numbers as good (deforestation is slowing) or bad (the Amazon is still be chopped down), the fact remains that since the 1970s, 20% of the forest has be cut down and with it biodiversity and carbon sequestration potential in the region has been lowered. It seems sad to me when you have to say the good news is that while deforestation is still clearing so much land every year, but at least its not a 100% increase.

via :: Worldwatch Institute
Amazon Deforestation
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Spending One Billion Dollars Could Slow Tropical Deforestation by One-Tenth, Reduce Carbon Emissions by Half a Billion Tonnes Annually

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