Deforestation declines in Amazon


A photo released by Brazil's environment ministry shows a deforested area in the rain forest in the southern Para state.


Jefferson Ruddy

Brazil says the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is at its lowest level in 23 years.

Deforestation fell 11 percent between August 2010 and July 2011 compared to the same period the previous year.

The main causes behind the felling of the world's largest rainforest are cattle farming, agriculture and logging for timber, reports the BBC.

Deforestation in the Amazon reached a historic peak in 2003-2004 at 10,700 square miles. This year 2,400 square miles of rainforest disappeared, according to statistics from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research.

But the Brazilian Senate is set to approve legislation today that would roll back parts of Brazil's forest code. Environmentalists fear the new measures pose a serious threat to preserving the rainforest.

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