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Brazil's Amazon Deforestation Falls 16%, According to Government

10/18/2017 - 11h28

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FABIANO MAISONNAVE
FROM MANAUS

MARINA DIAS
FROM BRASÍLIA

Under criticism from activists and environmental organizations, the government of President Michel Temer announced on Tuesday (17) that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon fell by 16% between August 2016 and July 2017.

In the previous two years, there was an increase in rate.

The official data comes from Inpe (National Institute of Space Research, in its Portuguese acronym), subordinated to the Ministry of Science and Technology, and was delivered to the president in a meeting at the Planalto Palace with ministers Sarney Filho (Environment) and Gilberto Kassab (Science and Technology).

The lower rate was already expected this year - the NGO Imazon, which maintains a parallel monitoring system, had estimated a 21% decline for the same period.

Inpe's estimate is that there were 6,624 km² of forest clearing during the period, with the states of Pará and Mato Grosso being the record holders in deforestation: 2,413 km² and 1,341 km², respectively.

After the meeting with Temer, the minister of Environment said that it was important to highlight the "trend of reversion of the curve of deforestation" in the Amazon that, according to him, was only possible through the action of "command and control" in the region.

According to researcher Paulo Barreto, from the NGO Imazon, the decrease in deforestation was mainly influenced by the fall in the price of livestock - cattle raising has been the main vector of deforestation in the Amazon.

He criticized Sarney Filho's speech, which conditioned the control of deforestation to the implementation of environmental services.

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

Read the article in the original language

Antonio Scorza/AFP
This image shows a burnt out sector of the Jamanxim National Forest at an illegal settlement, in the Amazon state of Para, nothern Brazil
This image shows a burnt out sector of the Jamanxim National Forest at an illegal settlement, in the Amazon state of Para, nothern Brazil

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