September 2, 2008

Amazon Deforestation Rate Falls 63 Percent in July

Amazon deforestation rate falls 63 percent in July

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest fell by 63 percent in July from the previous month, the third consecutive month in which deforestation rates have fallen, studies showed.

From April to June, the deforested area was 1,124 square km, 1,096 square km and 870 square km respectively, said a study released Friday by Brazil's National Institute of Space Research (INPE).

Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc attributed the decrease to the efforts in curbing wood transportation in the region and close supervision over wood deals.

The imposition of increased fines on environmental crimes since May has also proved effective.

From Aug. 2007 to July 2008, the deforested Amazon rainforest has accumulated to 15,000 square km.

In the last 20 years, about 9 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been wiped out, which amounts to 360,000 square km.

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