16:56 15 November 2013
The Brazilian government has now confirmed that the deforestation rate in the Amazon has increased by 28per cent in just one year. This sudden spike comes after years of previous decline.
Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said that the figures are unacceptable and added that the government is working to reverse the “crime.” She also denied President Dilma Rousseffs’ administration was to blame.
“This swing is not related to any federal government fund cuts for law enforcement.”
Meanwhile, Marcio Astrini, co-ordinator for the Amazon campaign at the Brazilian chapter of Greenpeace, said: "You can't argue with numbers. This is not alarmist – it's a real and measured inversion of what had been a positive trend."
On the other hand, environmentalists blame a controversial reform of the forest protection law in 2012 for the upwards trend in Brazil. This law reduced protected areas in farms and declared an amnestry for areas destroyed between 2008.
Reacting on the news, Amazon expert Paulo Adario from Greenpeace wrote on Twitter, "If you sleep with the ruralist lobby, you wake up with deforestation.”
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