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December 13, 2010

Clear Cutting of Amazon Declines but Selective Cutting Increases

The rate of clear cutting in the Amazon Region of Brazil continued its downward trend in October according to figures released by the non-governmental organization Amazonian Human and Environmental Institute (Imazon), but the amount of selective cutting increased during the same period.

During the month of October, the organization reported that 153 square kilometers were clear cut, which represented a decline of 21% compared to October 2009. The state of Rondonia had the most deforestation during the month at 51 square kilometers, accounting for 34% of the total, followed by the state of Amazonas at 46, Mato Grosso at 24, and Para at 16.

Even though the amount of clear cutting was down, the amount of selective cutting increased during the month. The institute reported that their satellite studies indicated that 526 square kilometers were altered in some manor by logging and burning, which was four times more than October 2009. Implications are that loggers are still at work, but their activities are less brazen and more clandestine than before.

The official estimates by the Brazilian Government will be released at a later date by the National Space Institute (Inpe). In November Inpe reported that during the twelve month period between August 2009 and August 2010, 6,451 square kilometers of deforestation occurred in the Amazon Region, which was the least amount in 23 years of monitoring