September 05, 2010

Deforestation Rate Continues to Plunge in Brazil

A recent article from Science Insider is reporting that the deforestation rate in Brazil has been on decline since 2004.

The Brazilian government says that a preliminary survey by a low-resolution satellite shows that deforestation in the Amazon declined by 47.5% over the past 12 months. The figure is the largest decline since measurements began in 1988 and, if confirmed by data from a second set of satellites due out later this year, would amount to nearly a 90% drop in lost forest area since a 2004 peak.

Three years ago, headlines such as these telling us that corn ethanol would lead to the destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest were all over the place.

U.S. ethanol may drive Amazon deforestation May 17, 2007
Switch to Corn Promotes Amazon Deforestation December 27, 2007

Since 2004, ethanol production has gone from 3.4 billion gallons to 10.8 billion gallons last year. And as the article points out over the same time period forest loss has been reduced by 90%. Clearly the linkage between the ethanol production and Amazon Forest loss is either very minimal or doesn't exist at all.

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