As land study points one way, Brazil goes in other


One of the many fires in the Brazilian Amazon this year. (Photo by Greenpeace)

Weeks after a global study pointed up the need for greenhouse-gas reductions from “land-sector” actions such as woodland protection and restoration, a Brazilian government report has highlighted how the country’s Amazon region is heading in very much the opposite direction. The government on Nov. 18 estimated that deforestation claimed 9,762 square kilometers (3,769 sq. miles) of the Brazilian Amazon in the 12 months ending July 31, 2019, an area the size of the U.S. states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. That would be 29.5% more land than was cleared in the previous 12 months—the highest annual deforestation spike since 2008 and the third highest ever recorded. A definitive deforestation figure for the period August 2018 through July 2019 is expected in May 2020, following further analysis of satellite images by the National Space Research Institute (INPE). But officials say final numbers typically vary no more than... [Log in to read more]

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