BRAZIL: Deforestation Continues in Mata Altȃntica
Between May 2010 and May 2011, another 133 sq km of forests were cleared in the already devastated Mata Altȃntica (Atlantic Forest) biome of Brazil, according to data from the SOS Mata Altȃntica Foundation and the National Institute for Aerospace Research.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 4 (Tierramérica).- The rate of deforestation has decreased slightly in comparison with the annual average of 155 sq km recorded between 2008 and 2010. Nevertheless, it is still critically high, because only 7.9 percent of the original forest cover remains of what used to be a vast forested area on the Brazilian coast.
Minas Gerais, in the east, and Bahia, in the northeast, are the states where the greatest amount of deforestation took place in the period studied. In both states, the native forest cover has been replaced by industrial plantations of eucalyptus trees, according to satellite image data.
"The fact that deforestation has continued at roughly the same rate is not good. Moreover, cloud cover frequently gets in the way of satellite monitoring. This means the real situation could be even worse, since some of the cloudiest areas are in fact the most deforested ones,” Marcia Hirota, one of the directors of SOS Mata Altȃntica, told Tierramérica.
The data was released on May 29 in the "Atlas dos Remanescentes Florestais da Mata Atlântica" (Atlas of Forest Remnants in the Atlantic Forest).