Brazil’s Environment Head Says Amazon Deforestation Is Slowing

The CO2 emissions caused by deforestation make Brazil a top-tier global warming polluter that has been criticized for not moving more quickly to save its vast but diminishing Amazon basin forests. Intact forests absorb greenhouse gases but become emitters when they are cut, cleared and burned.

The Associated Press reports:

“Brazil’s environment minister says increased policing brought a sharp drop in Amazon deforestation over the past year, despite a jump in July. Environment Minister Carlos Minc says destruction in the 12-month period through July totalled 4,375 square kilometres (1,689 square miles). He says that is a 46 per cent decline from the same period a year earlier.   Minc said Tuesday that deforestation during all of 2009 – forecast to be around 8,500 square kilometres (3,280 square miles) – will be the smallest amount in 20 years.” See full article.