Pressures build on Amazon jungle

BBC News | January 14, 2008

The Amazon is not just a precious resource for Brazil but for the entire world, and the year ahead seems likely to produce important indications of what the future holds for this vast rainforest.


The scale of the challenge is widely acknowledged.


In the past 40 years, close to 20% of the Amazon has been cut down.


Land cleared for cattle is the leading cause of deforestation, while the growth in soya bean production is becoming increasingly significant. Illegal logging is also a factor.


Deforestation and forest fires are now responsible for nearly 75% of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions.


In the past three years the Brazilian government has celebrated a 59% cut in the rate of deforestation, but there are now signs of problems ahead.


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