March 30, 2009

Ecuador tops in protecting rain forest

Ecuador has protected the largest percentage of its share of the Amazon rain forest and Peru the least, a study indicates.

The O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported Sunday that Ecuador has 79.7 percent of its rain forest region protected, compared with just 34.9 percent for Peru.

Brazil, which holds 64.3 percent of the environmentally important Amazon region, has protected just 39.6 percent of its share, the study by the non-governmental Amazonian Geo-referenced Socioenvironmental Information Network, or Raisg, showed.

The study also indicated Venezuela has conserved 71.5 percent of its portion and Colombia 56 percent off its area.

Overall, about 41.2 percent of the 3.01 million square miles of the Amazon region, which includes parts of nine nations, is protected, the study showed.

Raisg said its estimates were based on protected and Indian lands, areas generally in the best conservation state.