From: Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published December 2, 2011 03:38 PM

Deforestation and forest degradation down in the Brazilian Amazon since August

Deforestation and forest degradation are down moderately from August through October 2011 relative to the same period a year ago, reports a satellite-based assessment released today by Imazon, a Brazilian group. Imazon's near-real time system, which tracks change in forest plots 25 hectares (62 acres) or larger, found that 512 square kilometers of rainforest were cleared between August 2011 and October 2011, the first three months of the deforestation calendar year, which runs from August 1 through July 31 to coincide with the dry season when it is easiest to measure forest cover. The figure represents a 4 percent decline from the 533 square kilometers cleared in 2010.


Imazon's system also tracks forest degradation — including logging and fire damage — that often precedes outright deforestation. It recorded a 52 percent decline in degradation from 2,599 sq km to 1,246 sq km.

Overall Imazon estimated that deforestation and degradation in the Brazilian Amazon during the period committed 32 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

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