"Deforestation Dropped 18% in Brazil's Amazon Over Past 12 Months"

"Deforestation in the Amazon rain forest dropped 18% over the past 12 months, falling to the second-lowest level in a quarter century, Brazil’s environment minister said on Wednesday.

Izabella Teixeira told participants at a news conference that 4,848 square kilometers (1,870 square miles) of rain forest were destroyed between August 2013 and July 2014. That’s a bit larger than the US state of Rhode Island.

The figures were down from 5,891 square kilometers (2,275 square miles) razed during the same period a year earlier, in the wake of the adoption of a controversial bill revising the Forest Code. The measure, which passed in 2012 after more than a decade-long effort by Brazil’s powerful agricultural lobby, mostly eased restrictions for landowners with smaller properties, allowing them to clear land closer to riverbanks."

The Associated Press had the story November 26, 2014.

Source: AP, 12/03/2014