New law threatens Amazon rainforest
Amazon rainforest: Proposed law threatens to cripple preservation efforts – latimes.com
Driven by powerful agribusiness interests, a bill is moving through the Brazilian Congress that could cripple the decades-long effort to protect the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon rainforest stores massive amounts of carbon, which, if released, would make a major contribution to changing the global climate. According to a 2010 World Bank study, a 20% reduction in forest cover, combined with droughts, fires and climate change, could cause a dramatic dieback of the Amazon, converting large areas to savannah.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, tracked closely by Brazil’s National Space Research Agency (INPE), dropped dramatically in recent years. From 2006 to 2010, it was two-thirds below the annual average from 1996 to 2005. But in March and April, it spiked 470% compared with the same period last year, which experts link to an expected relaxation of the Forest Code.