Aerial view in the rainforest, Para State, Amazon. The forest is being burned by the US based Cargill corporation to clear land for soya plantations.
One year ago yesterday the Amazon was thrown a much needed lifeline. A deal to halt deforestation from the planting of soya was agreed by soya traders in the Amazon after pressure from Greenpeace and food retailers, most notably McDonald's.
Our 'Eating up the Amazon' report which showed the devastating effect of soya expansion in the Amazon was the catalyst for action by McDonald's. The report made sombre reading with not only the forest being devastated but local communities being forced off their land and some people even forced into slavery.
A year on and deforestation rates have fallen substantially in Mato Grosso, one of the regions of the Amazon most affected by soya farming. Para State is another area on the frontline of the soya induced deforestation and it too recorded a significant drop in the planting of soya.
The world's biggest rainforest got a double reprieve in the last year with not only the moratorium giving it some extra breathing space but a fall in the price of soya has also been a crucial factor in lowering the pressure on the Amazon.
Mato Grosso saw a 40 percent decrease in deforestation whilst Para State saw a 41 percent drop in the planting of soya.
The moratorium was not just short term reprieve for the forest. The agreement included a range of measures to ensure the 'wild west' style illegal land grabbing that led to the massive deforestation in the first place is stopped permanently.
A registry of land titles and a deforestation monitoring system is included as part of the agreement.
"The success of the whole process depends on a monitoring system, which is not yet in place. Until this is properly implemented, soya consumer companies must remain engaged to ensure soya will not leave further deforestation behind. Businesses around the world have to take responsibility and employ solutions that will halt rainforest destruction and tackle climate change" said our man in the forest, Paulo Adario.
So one year on and the signs are encouraging for the Amazon.