Deforestation in Brazil decreases by 46 percent

amazonian-rainforest-brazilTo the pictures taken by satellites the annual rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest have dropped by no less than 46 percent this year. If these figures were confirmed by ground data this would prove significant.

These figures are the lowest since record keeping begun 21 years ago and can be explained by the increased police patrols as the Brazilian government is willing to cut the deforestation rate by 70 percent by 2018.

Less than three months before the Copenhagen meeting these news are sure to help in reaching in agreement among the world’s leaders.

To Reuters :

The annual rate of destruction of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest has fallen 46 percent to its lowest level in over two decades due partly to increased police patrols, Environment Minister Carlos Minc said on Tuesday.

The drop, if confirmed by definitive data, could allow Brazil to argue at a major world climate summit later this year that it is delivering on a pledge to slash deforestation after decades of criticism by environmentalists.

“We’ll have the lowest deforestation in 21 years,” Minc told a news conference in the capital Brasilia.

(…) That report was based on satellite imaging. A definitive report using higher-resolution images will be published later this year.Minc attributed 90 percent of the deforestation reduction to improved policing. Experts give authorities some credit for the trend, but they say lower commodity prices resulting from a global economic crisis also was a factor.

(…) The South American nation is expected to play a key role in negotiations at a summit in Copenhagen in December, which is aimed at framing a new international treaty on climate change.

Mongabay also notes :

The reduction in Amazon deforestation comes a year after Brazil announced an ambitious plan to reduce forest loss by 70 percent by 2018 as part of its climate policy. Deforestation accounts for more than half of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 20 percent of emissions worldwide.

Brazil is seeking billions of dollars from industrialized nations for its efforts to reduce deforestation but is opposing an scheme that would allow rich countries to “offset” their emissions by paying tropical countries for protecting forests. Brazil argues that industrialized countries need to do more to reduce their own emissions.

[Photo credit : Flickr]

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