Forest degradation in the Brazilian Amazon, August 2009-July 2010 and August 2010-May 2011. Imazon

June 17, 2011

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continued to rise as Brazil's Congress weighed a bill that would weaken the country's Forest Code, according to new analysis by Imazon.

Imazon's near-real time deforestation tracking system found that 165 square kilometers (103 square miles) of forest was cleared last month, a 72 percent rise over May 2010. Accumulated deforestation in the period from August 2010 to May 2011 amounted to 1,435 sq km (1090 sq km), an increase of 24 percent over the same time-frame a year earlier. Deforestation in Brazil is typically measured on a calendar year ending in July, when cloud cover in the region is at a low point. Deforestation usually peaks in the Brazil Amazon during the dry season which runs from July through October. […]

Deforestation in May was highest in the municipality of Altamira, Para, where the controversial Belo Monte dam is to be constructed. Critics say the project will drive deforestation in surrounding areas as well as inundating large areas of forest and displacing thousands of indigenous people. Altamira accounted for 13 percent of total deforestation. It was followed by Porto Velho, Rondonia (8 percent), which serves as a key hub for the newly paved Trans-Oceanic Highway that links the heart of the Amazon to Peruvian ports. The highway will facilitate shipping of agricultural and timber products from the Amazon to China. […]

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon continues to rise; clearing highest near Belo Monte dam site



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