Brazil’s Deforestation Falls 20%, But It’s Up 6% in Protected Areas

Trees cut in the Brazilian Amazon According to a report published on Sunday, July 6, by Rio's daily O Globo one out of every five felled trees in the Brazilian Amazon belongs to government protected areas.

Apparently 2% of deforestation last year was in Indigenous reservations or preserved areas, says O Globo adding that the information was collected from Brazil's Environmental Office, Ibama, using satellite photos.

"It's a terrible number, it is horrendous," said Carlos Minc, the newly appointed Environment minister, who added that "it's not enough to create an area in maps, on paper to guarantee the conservation of the rainforest."

The report, which has not been officially presented by the Brazilian government, shows deforestation in the protected areas increased 6.4% since 2006, while overall illegal timbering has decreased 20%, "a figure which needs to be praised."

Last June, Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, created three natural reserves in the Amazon: a national park where tree cutting and building is entirely banned and two other reserves in which local communities can harvest rubber, nuts and fruit as long as they preserve the rainforest.

Minister Minc advanced that to solve the problem in reservations and government protected areas new measures would be announced in the coming weeks, including contracting 120 experts for the protected areas.

The Amazon covers an area of 6.2 million square kilometers (2.4 million square miles), 63% of which in Brazilian territory, but approximately 20% of that original rain forest area has been lost to farmers, wood merchants and real estate contractors.

Mercopress

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