January 18, 2013
In a bulletin posted today, Imazon reported that its near-real-time deforestation tracking system detected 82 square kilometers of forest clearing in December 2012, more than twice the figure of December 2011. It marked the fourth consecutive month where forest clearing exceeded the year-earlier period.
Overall forest loss between August 2012 and December 2012 amounted to 1,288 square kilometers, 127 percent higher than same period in 2011.
However Imazon's near-real-time system isn't as accurate as the system used for tracking annual deforestation. The tool, which has relatively coarse resolution, is used mostly for alerting authorities on the location of forest clearing, rather than measuring changes in forest cover.
While deforestation appears to be tracking higher this year, it's still well below historical levels. Nevertheless were deforestation to double over last year's 4,656 sq km, Brazil would miss its 2013 target of limiting clearing to 8,000 sq km. That target is set to ratchet down to 5,586 sq km in 2014.
More than 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest lies in Brazil. The country is widely seen as a bellwether for global trends in tropical deforestation and conservation.
The year in rainforests
(12/31/2012) 2012 was another year of mixed news for the world's tropical forests. This is a look at some of the most significant tropical rainforest-related news stories for 2012. There were many other important stories in 2012 and some were undoubtedly overlooked in this review. If you feel there's something we missed, please feel free to highlight it in the comments section. Also please note that this post focuses only on tropical forests.
Brazil launches forest trading system
(12/19/2012) Brazil has launched a new platform that enables farmers and ranchers who have cleared forest beyond the legal minimum to come into compliance by purchasing forest 'quotas' from landowners who have more than the mandated level of forest cover, reports the Associated Press. The system could spur increased compliance with the country's Forest Code, according to some experts.
With deforestation falling, energy sector to become Brazil's biggest CO2 source
(12/03/2012) With its annual rate of deforestation falling more than 80 percent since 2004, energy is set to soon become Brazil's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, reports a new study seen by Reuters.
Brazil's deforestation at record low from 2011-2012
(11/27/2012) Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell to the lowest rate since annual record-keeping began in 1988 according to provisional data released Tuesday by Brazil's National Space Research Agency (INPE). 1,798 square miles (4,656 square kilometers) of Amazon forest was chopped down during the 12 months ending July 31, 2012, 27 percent less than the year earlier period.