Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rose 17 percent in June compared to the same period a year earlier, reports Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
Using its rapid deforestation detection system INPE found 312.7 square kilometers were cleared in June. Nearly 40 percent of deforestation occurred in the state of Pará. The states of Mato Grosso (26 percent), Rondonia (21 percent), and Amazonas (13 percent) also saw significant forest loss.
Entering the peak deforestation months — July through September/October — deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in 2011 is so far outpacing last year’s rate, which was the lowest since annual record-keeping began in the late 1980s.
Most observers expected to see an increase in deforestation this year due to higher commodity prices and anticipation of changes to Brazil’s Forest Code, which requires private landowners to maintain forest cover on the majority of their holdings. Another contributing factor is continuing dry conditions across much of the Amazon basin, which increase the risk of fires spreading from agricultural areas into forest zones.
(06/30/2011) Satellite data released today by the Brazilian government confirmed a rise in Amazon deforestation over this time last year.
(06/17/2011) Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continued to rise as Brazil’s Congress weighed a bill that would weaken the country’s Forest Code, according to new analysis by Imazon.
(05/18/2011) New data from the Brazilian government seems to confirm environmentalists’ fears that farmers and ranchers are clearing rainforest in anticipation of a weakening of the country’s rules governing forest protection. Wednesday, Brazil’s National Space Research Agency (INPE) announced a sharp rise in deforestation in March and April relative to the same period last year. INPE’s rapid deforestation detection system (DETER) recorded 593 square kilometers of forest clearing during the past two months, a 473 percent increase over the 103.5 sq km chopped down from March-April 2010.
(05/17/2011) Analysis by Imazon, a research institute, has confirmed a huge surge in deforestation in a critical part of the Brazilian Amazon.
(05/05/2011) Brazil’s forest code may be about to get an overhaul. The federal code, which presently requires landowners in the Amazon to keep 80 percent of their land forest (20-35% in the cerrado), is widely flouted, but has been used in recent years as a lever by the government to go after deforesters. For example, the forest code served as the basis for the “blacklists” which restricted funds for municipalities where deforestation has been particularly high. To get off the blacklist, and thereby regain access to finance and markets, a municipality must demonstrate its landowners are in compliance with environmental laws.