As Amazon falls, Brazil sets record in timber plantations
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
April 11, 2007
Brazil planted a record area of forest plantations in 2006 even as more than 13,000 square kilometers of natural forest in the Amazon were lost. According to the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), a survey by the Brazilian Forest Service and the Secretariat of Biodiversity and Forests of the Ministry of Environment found that Brazilian firms planted 627,000 hectares of industrial forest plantations in 2006, an increase of 13% from 2005.
The report noted that the Amazon state of Pará planted some three million trees or 13,000 hectares of plantation forest in 2006. Still the amount was "insufficient to meet the timber demand from the forest industry" according to ITTO.
ITTO notes that environmental regulations are helping to drive plantations.
"The Environment State Secretary and Ibama have stimulated wood-consuming sectors such as the pig-iron industry to expand their industrial forest plantation area in order to comply with the environment legislation that mandate to prove sustainable timber production," it said.
The plantation area under smallholder control grew by 616 percent between 2002 and 2006 according to the survey.
Separately a recent report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showed that Brazil accounted for 73% (31,000 square kilometers per year) of the deforestation of natural forests in South America (42,000 square kilometers per year) in 2000-2005.
This article is based on a news release from NSIDC and previous mongabay.com articles
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