Deforestation reaches record high in Brazil

Deforestation in Brazil's rainforests is running at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world, according to newly released data…

Data released by Brazil’s National Institute of Spatial Investigation (INPE), shows deforestation levels in the Amazonian rainforests have reached a record high.
According to the country’s environmental minister, Marina Silva, these “undesirable” levels rose by almost six per cent in 2004.

Figures show that the total area of the country now blighted by deforestation has risen from nearly 25,500km² in 2002 to more than 26,100km² in 2004, around 18 per cent of the area originally occupied by the rainforest.

Silva claims that despite the government’s implementation of a policy to increase control and protection over the Amazon last year and the formation of an inter-ministerial group to study ways in which deforestation can be controlled, deforestation continues to thrive.

The states which have been affected the most by this rise are Rondonia and Mato Grosso, both of which have been the target of the government’s recent massive agricultural expansion, as part of a policy to improve the country’s economic situation.

As a result great areas of forest have been cleared in order to make way for the development of crops such as Soya, which will be grown for export.

However, Amazonian Institute of the Environment, Imazon, claims much of the latest deforestation has more to do with illegal exporters than the government’s drive to increase farming.