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Pace of deforestation in Amazon continues to increase



Satellite data from NGO Imazon suggests that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 290% in September when compared to last year.

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Demand for commodities such as palm oil, animal feed and timber have driven tropical deforestation, with much of the practice being conducted illegally.

The figures released indicate that 402 square kilometres of deforestation occurred in the Amazon last month, representing a 290% increase when compared to the 103 square kilometres of forest that was cleared in September 2013.

The increase could be linked to the forest area covered, in 2013, 79% of the Amazon was monitored, whilst 93% was covered this year.

Last month, it was revealed that the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon had worsened and is again on the rise. According to the Brazilian government the rate of deforestation increased by 29% in the period up to July 2013.

Cutting deforestation could have a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. A study conducted by the University of Edinburgh concluded that carbon emissions would be significantly reduced if deforestation in the tropics were minimised.

Photo: Matt Zimmerman via Flickr

Further reading:

Deforestation in Indonesia worse than in Brazilian Amazon, says study

Startup plans to tackle illegal deforestation in the Amazon with old smartphones

Amazon deforestation rate up 29% in 2013

Ending deforestation would cut global emissions by one-fifth

Consumer demand drives illegal deforestation – report