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In a press conference held on Wednesday, Brazils Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira that the Brazilian Government was in the process of intensifying efforts to halt deforestation in the Amazon.
This comes in the wake of new figures from Brazils National Institute for Space Research (INPE) that show deforestation in the Amazon region increased sixfold, from 103 square kilometres in March and April of 2010 to 593 square kilometres in the same period a year later.
“The order is to reduce deforestation [by] July. It’s a formal commitment by the Government and we must fulfil the National Plan on Climate Change”, said Izabella Teixeira during a press conference. “We will suffocate environmental crimes in Brazil.”
Minister Izabella also announced that she had set up an emergency task force composed of federal and state-level environmental agencies, the Federal Police, and the National Public Security Force, which would focus on keeping deforestation rates in the Amazon under control.
In addition, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources has mobilised agents from every state in Brazil to join the enforcement operations, bringing the total up to 546 agents working through the Amazon.
This comes in the wake of 58 enforcement operations carried out from January to May of this year, more than doubling the number of operations to deter illegal loggers in the Amazon region from last year. As a result of these operations, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources has seized 5,400 head of cattle which were destroying the region as a result of grazing, and embargoed 47,000 hectares of land which were being unlawfully logged. In this period, a total of R$ 275 million were issued in fines.
Image Source: Care of AFP
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