Biodiversity | Subscribe News

Brazil plans Amazon tree census to assess deforestation

Deforestation in Amazon Rainforests, Brazil

Powered by article titled “Brazil plans Amazon tree census to assess deforestation” was written by Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro, for The Guardian on Sunday 27th January 2013 14.43 UTC

The Brazilian government is to launch a four-year tree census of the Amazon to improve understanding of the impacts of deforestation, climate change and conservation efforts.

The study will also help to assess the potential value of the biodiversity under the canopy and the growth of human settlements in the Amazon region, which is home to a number of fast-expanding cities, as well as uncontacted indigenous tribes.

The cataloguing operation will be the most detailed study for 40 years – a period in which the world’s greatest forest has come under unprecedented pressure from farmers, loggers and drought.

The environment ministry said the inventory “will allow us to have a broad panorama of the quality and the conditions in the forest cover”.

Improvements in satellite monitoring technology have already provided a wealth of data about the degradation of the Amazon.

Last week, Nasa released figures showing that an area twice the size of California continues to suffer from a mega-drought, which began eight years ago. Nasa said this may be the first sign that the Amazon is suffering major consequences from climate change.

The Brazilian government also uses a sophisticated satellite system to co-ordinate its actions against illegal forest clearance. The environment ministry says this has slowed deforestation and pushed Brazil halfway towards its Copenhagen commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2020.

However, there are limits to what can be analysed from above, particularly when it comes to the quality of the forest and the biodiversity below the canopy.

“We are going to come to know the rainforest from within,” said forestry minister, Antonio Carlos Hummel.

With the results expected to be released year by year, the environment minister, Izabella Teixeira, said the government would have more information on which to base its future strategies of conservation and extraction of economic value. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Comments are closed.

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.