Brazil moves to protect and restore endangered Atlantic rainforest
November 22, 2008
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed a decree to protect and restore critically endangered rainforest along the country’s Atlantic coast, reports the Associated Press.
The Mata Atlantica has been reduced to less than 7 percent of its original range as a result of logging and conversion for agriculture and cattle ranches.
The decree, signed Friday, “provides financial incentives for local residents to protect and recover forest through green businesses,” according to the AP.
Carlos Minc, the country’s Environment Minister, said the government aims to restore the Atlantic forest to 20 percent of its original cover.
Earlier this year the Nature Conservancy announced a program to plant a billion native trees in the region, in hopes of restoring the ecosystem. Research published last year suggests that with such efforts the Mata Atlantica may be capable of recovery.