Amazon Deforestation Increasing in Countries Outside Brazil

Deforestation has sharply increased in Amazon rainforest countries outside of Brazil, finds a new analysis based on satellite data, reports Rhett Butler at Researchers have developed updated forest cover maps for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The results reveal an increasing trend in forest clearing since 2004. When indigenous areas, which covered 4 to 5 percent of the land area were  compared to protected areas, which make up nearly20  percent of the area, the results indicate that indigenous areas, adjusted for size, had a lower rate of forest loss than parks.  Overall, the assessment found that the eight Amazon countries lost some 2.3 million ha of forest between 2004 and 2012. By comparison, Brazil, which was excluded from the study, lost  over 11 million hectares during the period. But Brazil’s deforestation rate is declining, falling from nearly 3 million ha in 2004 to about a half million ha in 2012. More than 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest lies within Brazil. Brazil’s drop in deforestation has been partly attributed to its use of a nearly real-time deforestation tracking system.


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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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