Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Amazon destruction increases again

The rate of destruction of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has increased for a second year running.

Brazilian government figures show deforestation was up by 29% in the 12 months up to the end of July 2013.

Satellite data showed that almost 6,000 sq km (2,315 sq miles) of forest were cleared during that period.

The largest increases in deforestation were seen in the states of Para and Mato Grosso, where most of Brazil's agricultural expansion is taking place.

More than 1,000 sq km (390 sq miles) have been cleared in each state.

Last year, the Brazilian authorities said there had been a 28% rise in deforestation.

That reversed several years of decline.

The worst year since the Brazilian government began tracking deforestation was 2004, when almost 30,000 sq km (11,580 sq miles) of forest were lost.

Besides agricultural expansion, the rebound in deforestation is due to illegal logging and the invasion of public lands adjacent to big infrastructure projects in the Amazon, such as roads and hydroelectric dams.