Deforestation has sharply increased in Amazon rainforest countries outside of Brazil, finds a new analysis based on satellite data, reports Rhett Butler at Mongabay.com. 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.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
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