Brazil and the United States signed an agreement in which Brazil will use US$ 21 million that it owes the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for environmental protection projects in Brazil.
Specifically, the money will be employed over the next five years (between now and 2015) in conserving biomass in the Atlantic Rainforest, Savannah and Semi-Arid (Mata Atlântica, Cerrado and Caatinga”) regions of Brazil under terms of US legislation known as the Tropical Forest Conservation Law (TFCA).
The TFCA was enacted in 1998 and this is the first time it has been used in Brazil (the US has 16 other TFCA agreements around the world).
In June, a total of 243.7 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest was cut down. That is 58% less than in June 2009, reports the Real Time Deforestation Detection system (Deter) at the National Space Research Institute (Inpe) – a report based on satellite images.
Brazil’s official deforestation calendar runs from August to July, so there is still a month left for the current “burning season.” However, the official numbers coming from Deter show a continued downward tendency in Amazon deforestation that has been occurring for some months.
Cumulative deforestation, from August 2009 to June 2010, now totals 1,808 square kilometers, down 49%, compared to the previous 12-month period.
Another detection system, Prodes (Projeto de Monitoramento do Desmatamento na Amazônia Legal), which is more precise than Deter (it measures smaller areas), is used as the basis of annual reports by the Brazilian government on the rate of Amazon deforestation.
The next Prodes report is due in November. The last report, in November 2009, found that 7,400 square kilometers of rainforest were destroyed, the lowest number in 20 years of surveys.