Lula government scrambles to slow deforestation


Brazil, alarmed by new estimates suggesting a 40% increase in the annual rate of Amazon deforestation, has announced an ambitious though still-sketchy initiative to reduce destructive land-clearing in the region. Agreed on at a July 1 inter-ministerial meeting, the effort seeks to promote a shift to sustainable development in three key Amazon states, bolster the scope and sophistication of forest monitoring and tighten enforcement. The announcement came less than a week after Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE) estimated that 9,836 square miles (25,476 sq kms) of Amazon rainforest was cleared from August 2001 to August 2002—40% more than during August 2000 to August 2001. The figures surprised President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s six-month-old administration. Its predecessor... [Log in to read more]

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