Deforestation Of Amazon Rainforest Increased By 28% in 2012

Deforestation, climate change

South America is running out of water and one of the main issues is deforestation of the Amazon: the hart and lungs of the world

The devastation to the Amazon jungle increased by almost one-third in 2012, according to studies made by the Brazilian government. This development represents a dramatic reversal of what was formerly seen as solid progress made over the prior decade in the fight against deforestation of the largest tropical rainforest in the world: The hart and lungs of the world.

Data from the last 12 months collected by satellite showed that the damage in the Amazonian region expanded by 28 percent in comparison to the previous year. The damaged area added up to 5,843 square kilometers (2,255 square miles), roughly the size of the small U.S. state of Delaware.

The increase in deforestation was largely caused by the expansion of farming areas and the development of infrastructure projects, reported the Brazilian newspaper O Globo.

“This is not being alarmist, it is real numbers,” said Márcio Astrini, a coordinator with the Greenpeace environmental activist organization

Deforestation, Brazil, rainforest, Amazon

Deforestation with total loss of the Amazon – 2012

Amazon deforestation rate (km2 lost per year)

Figures are for total forest loss, collected by the Brazilian space agency. A state-by-state breakdown shows Para remains by far the worst state for deforestation.



Activists use GPS to track illegal loggers in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest

Hi-tech undercover operation used GPS tracking on timber trucks for the first time, as well as satellite and aerial images to reveal extent of illegal logging in Brazilian Amazon. The activists went undercover in the remote and dangerous state of Pará to secretly place GPS tracking devices on trucks suspected of illegal logging, the first time the tactic has been used. It revealed 200-mile-long journeys deep into protected regions of rainforest to collect logs and return journeys under the cover of night to sawmills in the Amazon port of Santarém, from where timber is exported to Europe, the US, China, and Japan. Satellite and aerial images were also collected and analysed during the hi-tech operation.

The covert operation began with two months of on-the-ground surveillance to identify the routines of the truckers, from where they ate and refuelled their vehicles to the river ferries and bridges they had to cross. In parallel, satellite images were cross-referenced with databases of logging permits to identify areas likely to harbour illegal tree felling.


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