Brazil Amazon deforestation 'at lowest level in years'

Forest being illegally burned in Brazil (September 2009) Rainforest is cleared for timber or to make way for farming

Related Stories

Brazil says the rate of deforestation in its Amazon region has fallen to the lowest level for 23 years.

The National Institute for Space Research said 6,238 sq km (2,400 sq miles) of rainforest disappeared between August 2010 and July 2011, a drop of 11% from the previous year.

The government says the fall is due to its tougher stance on illegal logging.

But in at least two states, Rondonia and Mato Grosso, rainforest clearance rose considerably in the past year.

The research institute has used satellite technology to monitor the rainforest since 1988.

Destruction peaked in recent years at 27,700 sq km (10,700 sq miles) in 2003-4.

The main causes of illegal clearing of the rainforest are cattle farming and agricultural crop production, as well as logging for timber.

Brazil's congress is due to debate a reform of land laws in the next few days which would reduce the conservation area.

The farming lobby says reform is needed as current regulations are a burden on production. But environmentalists say it would be a setback for efforts to preserve the rainforest.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • The smartphone that answers backClick Watch

    Smartphones get smarter – the prototypes that talk and say ouch when you drop them

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.