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Rainforest destruction set to rise


17th January, 2008

Deforestation of the Amazon is set to rise for the first time in four years, Brazilian officials have admitted this week.

The Government has put in stricter controls on illegal logging in recent years in an effort to curb the rate of destruction of the world’s largest rainforest. However, a senior Brazilian government scientist has told reporters that deforestation has surged in recent months and is likely to show a year-on-year rise in 2008.He said that 2,300 square miles of forest had been lost in the past four months compared to an estimated 3,700 square miles in the 12 months ended July 31.  'I can tell you that it (deforestation) is going to be much higher than 2007,' Carlos Nobre, a scientist with Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, told Reuters.

'I think the last four months is a big concern for the government and now they are sending people to do more law enforcement,' he added.

Environmental groups have warned that rising global commodity prices will result in even greater deforestation as land is cleared for farming.

'If oil prices keep increasing there will be an explosion of biofuel production in the Amazon, contrary to Brazilian government policy,' Nobre said.


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