The BR-163 highway in the state of Para.The road cuts directly through the National Forest and is used for illegal logging operations and deforestation inside the protected area.
"This is a great step towards the protection and sustainable use
of the world's last ancient forests but is only a fraction of what
is needed. The Amazon and the life it supports is seriously
threatened by destructive logging and land clearance to grow crops
like soy. We need more initiatives like this to save the world's
last ancient forests," said Paulo Adário, forest campaign
co-ordinator for Greenpeace Brazil.
The Amazon rainforest is under threat from drought, fires,
illegal and destructive logging and land clearance. In the last
three years 69,850 square kilometres of the rainforest was
destroyed- the equivalent more than 18 football fields every
minute. This has led to dramatic losses of biodiversity and
contributed to climate change
The area to be protected is particularly vulnerable to
exploitation because a road, the BR-163 in Para State, is about to
be paved. This could open the forest up to further soy plantations,
cattle ranching, logging and other forms of destruction.
Under the Presidential Decree, there will be three levels of
protection in the designated forest area. 1.6 million hectares will
be permanently protected and totally off limits to logging and
deforestation. Logging concessions will be created in a further 2.8
million hectares to prevent deforestation and ensure well-managed
forests and development guidelines will be improved in an
additional two million hectares of forest.
Worldwide, only 20% of the original ancient forests remain
intact. Unless they are protected, we will lose them and the
biodiversity they support, forever. Today's Presidential Decree
follows the announcement by the Provincial Government of British
Columbia last week that it will protect two million hectares of
Canada's Great Bear Rainforest.
"We hope these successes signal a new direction for the future
of our forests. Governments have the opportunity to act on their
promises and protect life on Earth during the Convention on
Biological Diversity in Brazil next month by setting up a global
network of protected forest areas," (1) said Gavin Edwards, Global
Forest Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organization, which
uses non-violent, creative communication tools to put the spotlight
on global environmental problems and to drive towards solutions
essential for a green and peaceful future.
Other contacts: Paulo Adario, Forest Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace Brazil: +55 92 8115 8928Gavin Edwards, Global Forest Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace International: +31 652 391 429See http://www.greenpeace .org
Notes: (1) The Convention on Biological Diversity takes place in Curitiba, Brazil on March 20th to 31st.
Exp. contact date: 2007-01-14 00:00:00