Deforestation rates decrease in the Amazon | WWF

Deforestation rates decrease in the Amazon



Posted on 07 December 2005
Yanomami hunting in the Amazon rainforest. Roraima Province, Brazil.
© WWF / Nigel Dickinson
Brasilia, Brazil – The Brazilian government announced that the deforestation of the Amazon fell by 30 per cent in the twelve months up to August. This is the first reduction in the deforestation rates since 2001 and 2000 and the largest since the 1995-96 period, when the rate fell 37 pre cent from a high of 29,050km2.

"The challenge is now to further advance with this decrease," stressed Denise Hamu, CEO of WWF-Brazil.

According to WWF-Brazil, a number of factors may explain the decrease. These include a reduction in the price of soy, Brazil's most important agricultural commodity, which may have reduced the incentive to cut down the Amazon. The price of soy dropped between March 2004 and August 2005 by 36 per cent.

"If agriculture commodities do recover, those who destroy the forest will choose to pay a fine rather than stop cutting down trees," said Mauro Armelin, WWF-Brazil's public policy officer. "What we want to know is what annual percentage decrease does the government want to achieve? If the government has no clear goals, it will be very difficult to assess long term plans and results."

"The government as a whole and not just one ministry should work to halting deforestation in the Amazon," added Claudio Maretti, head of WWF-Brazil's protected areas programme.

"More protected areas should be created, a forest based economy supported, and illegal land occupancy stopped."

For further information:
Helio Hara, Institutional Communications Officer
WWF-Brazil
Tel: +55 61 3364 7408
E-mail: helio@wwf.org.br
Yanomami hunting in the Amazon rainforest. Roraima Province, Brazil.
© WWF / Nigel Dickinson Enlarge