Brazil to crackdown on illegal logging says Environment Minister
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
August 9, 2005
According to a report from Bloomberg, Brazil will increase the monitoring of logging in the Amazon rainforest and raise fines for those caught illegally clearing trees.
Environment Minister Marina Silva said the country will hire 100 forest engineers to oversee logging and agricultural projects in the Amazon region, after firing 84 earlier this year on corruption-related charges.
Earlier this year government of Brazil released figures showing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest reached the 10,088 square miles (26,129 square kilometers) for the year ending August 2004. Deforestation in the Amazon in 2004 was the second worst ever as rain forest was cleared for cattle ranches and soy farms.
- Landowner caught burning 2 million trees in the Amazon: A large plantation owner was caught burning almost 2 million trees in the Amazon to make way for a cattle pastures according to O Estado de S.Paulo, as translated by amazonia.org.br. Workers for Jose Dias Pereira, a landholder in the Brazilian state of Para, were caught by Inspectors from the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and military police. IBAMA says this is the largest area of deforestation registered this year in Amazonia and has fined Pereira $770,000 (R$ 20.5 million reales).
- Brazil’s grasslands could replace food production of American heartland: Today when Brazil is mentioned in the same sentence with “agriculture,” people often first envision the Amazon rainforest giving way to soybean plantations and cattle farms. While the Amazon is being converted for such purposes, the cerrado, a vast area of savanna-like grasslands covering more than 20% of the country’s surface area, is increasingly under threat as farmers from the United States and Europe are setting their sights on the biome’s sizeable agricultural potential.
- Amazon not holding expected carbon, carbon-credit trading scheme at risk?:
The rivers of South America’s Amazon basin are “breathing” far harder cycling the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide more quickly than anyone realized. Most of the carbon being exhaled or outgassed as carbon dioxide from Amazonian rivers and wetlands has spent a mere 5 years sequestered in the trees, other plants and soils of the surrounding landscape, U.S. and Brazilian researchers report in the July 28 issue of Nature.
- Rainforest loss in the Amazon tops 200,000 square miles, new figures from Brazilian government: New figures from the Brazilian government show that 10,088 square miles of rain forest were destroyed in the 12 months ending in August 2004. Deforestation in the Amazon in 2004 was the second worst ever as rain forest was cleared for cattle ranches and soy farms. Scientists are concerned that widespread deforestation in the Amazon could have global consequences through species extinction and climate change.
- Chinese economy drives road-building and deforestation in the Amazon: The state of Madre de Dios in southeastern Peru is home to mountainous cloud forests and low-lying rainforests containing the richest biodiversity on Earth. It may also soon be home to a transcontinental highway. If all goes according to plan and schedule, by June 2006, there will be an asphalt road connecting Sao Paulo to Lima, and more importantly, the Pacific Peruvian ports of Matarini, Ilo and San Juan. The east-west Carretera Transoceanica — “transoceanic highway” — as the project is called, is viewed as a long-awaited and close to finalized dream for proponents, namely the Peruvian and Brazilian governments, agricultural groups and local residents, and as a nightmare for environmentalists.