Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon forests has flipped from a decreasing to an increasing trend, ScienceDaily reports.
Commenting on the figures released by the country’s space agency INPE, Brazilian environment minister Carlos Minc confirmed that the government was set to announce forest related carbon emission reduction targets.
He added that he hoped that the scheme would link halting deforestation to the national climate change campaign.
From August 2007 to July 2008, Brazil deforested 11,968 square kilometers of forests in the area designated as the Legal Amazon.
This was a 3.8% increase over the previous year and an unwelcome surprise following declines of 18% over the previous period.
From 2003-2004 to 2006-2007, annual deforestation totals from the agency fell from 27,423 sq-km to 11,532 sq-km.
There were fears that the current trend could have been worse but for new measures introduced part way through the year when it became apparent that annual deforestation was accelerating towards a possible 15,000 hectare level.