Deforestation in the Amazon Reaches Lowest Levels Ever Recorded in 2009
Brazilian Amazon dropped 45.7 percent from
state governors and mayors in
analysis of satellite imagery by the National Institute for Space Research
(INPE), an estimate of 7,008 square kilometers of forest were cleared in
started monitoring deforestation in 1988.
“The new deforestation data represents an extraordinary and significant
face today,” said President Lula following the meeting.
According to the Ministry of Environment, the slowing deforestation levels
are primarily a result of the Action Plan for Deforestation Control and
Prevention in the Amazon, a set of cross-government policies and measures
launched in 2004 to improve monitoring, strengthen enforcement, define
conservation areas and foster sustainable activities in the region. With the
support of 13 government agencies, the plan played a major role in helping
reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 74.8 percent from 2004 to 2009.
Enhanced surveillance and enforcement
The INPE data indicates that the projected 32 percent increase in
inspection operations over the last year was instrumental in inhibiting
illegal deforestation in the Amazon. Satellite images from INPE’s near
real-time deforestation detection system enabled government inspectors to
focus their efforts where deforestation is most critical and act quickly to
prevent new areas from being cleared.
As a result of this surveillance, the Brazilian Environment Institute
apprehended around 230,000 cubic meters of wood, 414 trucks and tractors, and
embargoed 502,000 hectares of land linked to illegal deforestation activities
in the region over the period from
government to issue over
In addition to fines, the government used other tools to financially
constrain those whose activities contribute to the destruction of the forest.
This includes a resolution enacted by the National Monetary Council in
mid-2008 that requires farmers and ranchers in the Amazon to meet
environmental criteria in order to obtain loans from public and private banks.
Conservation areas and sustainable activities
Federal and state governments also worked to create around 50 million
hectares in new conservation units in the Amazon from 2004 to 2008, while
another 10 million hectares in indigenous lands were granted recognition in
the same period. Today, 43 percent of the legal Amazon is federally protected.
The government also initiated a concession scheme for sustainable
management in public forests. The first concessions were granted in
extraction activities in 96,000 hectares of the Jamari Public Forest, in the
state of Rondonia.
Deforestation and climate change
Deforestation in the Amazon region is the main source of
greenhouse gas emissions. According to the first National Inventory of
Greenhouse Gases, up to 75 percent of
deforestation and land use change.
For this reason, tackling deforestation is at the center of
strategy to combat global warming. Launched in
Plan on Climate Change sets targets to cut deforestation rates by 80 percent
by 2020, which would avoid 4.8 billion tons in CO2 emissions during this
To meet these goals, the plan sets out a number of actions and programs to
combat illegal logging and provide sustainable economic alternatives to the
people living in the Amazon, among other measures to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions in different sectors.
Note to Editors Evolution of deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon Year Rate (km2) 2000 18,226 2001 18,165 2002 21,523 2003 25,396 2004 27,772 2005 19,014 2006 14,196 2007 11,633 2008 12,911 2009 7,008 Source: National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
The Secretariat for Social Communication (SECOM) of the Presidency of