The number of cleared areas in the Amazon went up 6% in one year, from 2003 to 2004. The forest lost 26,130 km of green area: a territory almost the size of Brazilian northern state of Alagoas.
A total of 17.3% of the forest has already been destroyed, according to a projection of the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe), based on 103 satellite images. This number however, has a margin of error of 5%. Another projection will be released until the end of the year.
This is the second highest deforestation rate since 1995, when it was registered a record number of 29 thousand square kilometers of destroyed forest.
“Deforestation has a strong connection with the dynamics of development. If we do not adopt a sustainability criterion for all aspects of the economy in the Amazon, it will be impossible to combat deforestation only with inspection and control – and this is what the government is doing through the Plan to Combat Deforestation,” believes the Minister of Environment, Marina Silva.
The states of Mato Grosso do Sul and of Rondônia were the most affected. A successful case, however, happened in the city of São Félix do Xingu (state of Pará), which presented high critical indices and was able to reduce the problem by 40%.