Archive for the ‘Deforestation’ Category

On October 11th the Brazilian Government introduced a new task force designed to ensure continued surveillance of deforestation in the Amazon. The Environmental Security Force will be jointly monitored by the Brazilian Army, the Federal police, and the Brazilian Environmental Institution (IBAMA). “Environmental crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated,” said Izabella Teixeira, Brazil’s Minister of Environment. “To fight it, we are modernizing our control system.”

The new task force was created in response to a spike in deforestation this August. 522 square miles of rain forest were cleared in that month alone, a 220% increase compared to deforestation rates from August 2011. The number of square miles cleared in August is the highest recorded since July 2009, when 836 square miles of rain forest were cleared. According to Teixeira, factors contributing to the rise in deforestation include high commodity prices and drought. Furthermore, an increase in corn and soy products has boosted agricultural development, a main cause of deforestation in the region.

While the creation and implementation of the new task force is a win for environmentalists, it is a small step in a long journey. Of the Amazon’s 2.5 million square miles, 60% is located within Brazil. It will take more than the task force to ensure the protection and conservation of the Amazon, both now and in future years.


Brazilian Government Press Release



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