New figures from the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil show that deforestation has reached the lowest levels since records began more than 20 years ago, and the results are being published just a fortnight before the Rio+20 Earth Summit.
In the 12 months to 31 July 2011, some 6,418 square km of forests were destroyed, which is the smallest area since 1988. The rate of deforestation has actually dropped by 75 per cent since 2004 and FRA, along with many other analysis organisations attributes much of the success to the measures brought in by the Brazilian government to try to limit deforestation.
Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, said the government was largely responsible for the improvement. She said, "This reduction is impressive; it is the result of changes in society, but it also stems from the political decision to inspect, as well as from punitive action by government agencies.”
FRA’s analysis partner, Peter Collins, said that the government’s measures have had a big effect. “An example is their move to discourage the steel industry from using illegally logged timber for the production of charcoal. Any firms that did so would not have been eligible for state handouts, so they all turned to sustainable plantations, such as those run by Greenwood Management and other similar investment firms, to source their charcoal.”
FRA claims that this means the market for sustainably produced timber and charcoal is growing, which is great news for anyone investing in timberland in Brazil.
Greenwood and other plantation management firms offer people outside Brazil the chance to invest in non-native timber plantations that help to provide alternatives to local illegally logged timber.
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Forestry Research Associates is a research and advisory consultancy that focuses on forestry management, sustainability issues and forestry investment around the globe.
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