Brazil's deforestation rate 'falls'

Figures show destruction of the Amazon rainforest at its lowest level since 2000.

    Marina Silva said the figures reflected "a new environmental governance" [AFP]

    The authorities say that deforestation has been reduced due to greater controls on illegal logging, improved certification of land ownership and more initiatives to preserve the forest.
     
    Marina Silva, the environment minister, told a news conference in the capital Brasilia: "It's a great achievement for Brazilian society. It reflects a new environmental governance."
     
    Commodity prices
     
    But environmentalists say deforestation has slowed largely because of the strengthening of Brazil's currency and a drop in the price of soybeans, which makes it less profitable to clear forest to grow the crop.
     
    Paulo Moutinho, of the Environmental Research Institute of the Amazon, said: "Awareness and policies improved in the federal and state governments, but the real test is if rates fall during a commodity price rally."
     
    He added: "I'm optimistic but it's too early to celebrate."
     
    Brazil has often been accused of allowing its farm exports to contribute to destruction of the Amazon.
     
    The government under Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil's president, has increased police raids on illegal logging and expanded protected areas.
     
    At the same time, though, it has built roads and hydroelectric plants in the region, which conservationists fear could increase deforestation in the long term.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.