Falling Amazon deforestation rates create opportunity for other damaged forests

by WWF Bolivia
(Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia)

Fewer trees were cut down in the Amazon this year, creating an opportunity to apply sound government policies to halt deforestation in other damaged forests, WWF says.

Data released Thursday by the Brazilian government shows that the deforestation rate in the Amazon fell between August 2008 and July 2009. Overall, the deforested region is a 45 percent smaller than Amazon land cleared the previous year, or between August 2007 and July 2008.

This is the lowest rate of deforestation in the Amazon since record-keeping began in 2000, and down from a high of more than 27,000 square kms in 2004.

However, the Amazon did lose 7,008 square kms of forest this year, according to government officials and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who attended a ceremony Thursday to announce this year’s deforestation figures.

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