Amazon Deforestation Rises, Reversing Trend
After years of decline, the rate of deforestation of the Amazon increased 28 percent between August 2012 and July of this year, Brazilian officials said.
The provisional statistics suggest the felled area numbered 2,255 square miles, compared with 1,765 square miles in the previous 12 months. The period of declining deforestation began in 2009. This latest tally represents the second lowest annual figure in terms of forest loss. The worst year on record was 2004, when 10,425 square miles of forest were lost.
— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Environmentalists say the controversial reform of the forest protection law in 2012 is to blame for the upwards trend in Brazil.
The changes reduced protected areas in farms and declared an amnesty for areas destroyed before 2008.
The reform, a long-standing demand of the country’s farmers’ lobby, known as the ruralists, was passed after several vetoes by President Dilma Rousseff.
Agriculture accounts for more than 5% of the Brazilian GDP.