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Protected areas cover 44% of the Brazilian Amazon

Posted by Lindy on April 24, 2011

Protected areas now cover nearly 44 percent of the Amazon — an area larger than Greenland. The report, published in Portuguese, says that by December 2010, protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon amounted to 2,197,485 square kilometers. Conservation units like national parks accounted for just over half the area while indigenous territories represent just under half.

But there have been problems in the past. Damage was heaviest in designated “sustainable use” reserves, which are less protected than conservation or indigenous areas. One problem is that there are too few people protecting these areas, e.g.the state of Pará has only one officer per 1,817 square kilometres of forest. The report cites illegal logging and mining as threats to protected areas.

But the report comes as Brazil has been experiencing a decline in deforestation. Annual clearing is down more than 75 percent since 2004.

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