August 3, 2011

Deforestation In Brazil Accelerated In June

Brazilian government researchers said Tuesday that deforestation in the country's Amazon accelerated in June, with 120 square miles destroyed.

May saw a decrease in deforestation to 100 square miles from April's 180 square miles.

Over 150 square miles of forests were destroyed in April in a single state, Mato Grosso.  This state is known for its cattle ranches and soybean farming.

Brazil said during a 2009 UN climate change summit that it would reduce Amazon deforestation by 80 percent by 2020.

Brazil is the world's fifth largest country by area and has over 2 million square miles of jungle and forests.

Only about 650,000 square miles of the country's jungle and forests are under state protection, while the rest lies in private hands or undefined territory.

Brazil has become one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters as its forests succumb to deforestation.  The pace of deforestation in 2004 was at 10,000 square miles a year.

However, it dropped to 2,500 square miles a year by 2010 due to the INPE's Real-Time Deforestation Detection System (DETER).  This system allows researches to collect new satellite images on a daily basis.