Amazon deforestation rises again, says the Brazilian Government

Just days before UN climate talks begin in Poznan, Poland, the Brazilian government released new figures for Amazon deforestation between August 2007 and July 2008. After three years of decline, almost 3 million (2,957,356) acres were destroyed – a increase of 3.8% compared to the previous year. The new figures were announced today by the National Institute of Space Research (INPE).

"This is no surprise. Since mid 2007, Greenpeace has been warning the Brazilian Government about increasing forest destruction in the Amazon due to the rising price of agricultural commodities and the failure to properly implement the national plan to stop deforestation. It would have been even larger if the soy moratorium was not in place to help contain pressure on the rainforest", said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Coordinator.

"The Brazilian government should embrace the fight against Amazon deforestation once and for all. The bad news for the forest and for the climate will only end when the Brazilian government implements a plan to end deforestation by 2015 as proposed by Non-Governmental Organizations, including Greenpeace".

"Deforestation is responsible for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the UN climate talks Greenpeace is asking governments to agree to our Forests for Climate proposal that will halt deforestation globally by 2015, using funds from developed countries. Because this is a fund based proposal rather than a market driven one it avoids creating loopholes for continued industrial emissions, preserves biodiversity and enhances forest peoples' rights and livelihoods."

VVPR info: Daniel Kessler, 970.690.2728 (cell)

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