Brazil drew widespread praise for drastically lowering Amazon deforestation over the past decade and half. But as forest destruction in the country is on the rise once again, new research finds that Brazil’s official estimates are missing large swaths of deforestation.
- A new study published in the journal Conservation Letters finds that, between 2008 and 2012, close to 9,000 square kilometers (about 3,475 square miles) of the Brazilian Amazon were cleared without being detected by the government’s official monitoring system.
- Brazil’s Monitoring Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by Satellite Project (known as PRODES) has played a key role in Brazil’s recent efforts to rein in deforestation.
- But when researchers with Brown University compared data from PRODES with two independent satellite measures of forest loss — from the Global Forest Change project and the Fire Information for Resource Management Systems — they found an area of deforestation roughly the size of Puerto Rico was not included in the PRODES monitoring.
|An aerial shot shows the contrast between the forest and agricultural landscapes near Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Photo by Kate Evans for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).|
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