Dip in deforestation—and debate about why


After intensifying in recent years, deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon declined by 30.5% during the Brazilian government’s latest 12-month monitoring period, authorities here announced this month. Officials say the new figures show that the government’s Amazon-conservation efforts are paying off. But green groups and many scientists describe the lower land-clearing rate as largely the result of market forces affecting one of the key drivers of deforestation—soy farming—and say the government must do far more to ensure sustained rainforest protection. “Deforestation rates follow the ups and downs of the agricultural commodities market [principally for soy and beef], and the main reason for the drop in the deforestation rate this year has been a drop in world soy prices,” says Arnaldo Carneiro... [Log in to read more]

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