Brazil sets up special security force to protect Amazon

Oct 10, 2012
Brazil said it was setting up a special environmental security force to combat soaring illegal deforestation in the Amazon region.

Brazil said Wednesday it was setting up a special environmental security force to combat soaring illegal deforestation in the Amazon region.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the new unit will conduct "permanent" surveillance of the Amazon, where illicit deforestation grew 220 percent in August compared with the same month in 2011.

The force will be backed by the army, the federal police and the Brazilian Environment Institution (IBAMA), which has its own police unit.

Currently authorities are focusing their operations during the dry season when illicit logging increases.

" is becoming more sophisticated. To combat it, we must modernize our surveillance system," Teixeira said.

In August, logging affected an area of 522 square kilometers (210.5 square miles), up 220 percent from August last year, according to official figures.

That dropped to 282 square kilometers in September.

The ministry cited drought, the pressure of international commodity (mainly soybean) prices and land grabs by settlers along the Trans-Amazonian highway currently being asphalted as key factors behind the devastation of the .

Sixty percent of the Amazon, home to the world's largest , is located within Brazil's borders.

Large-scale deforestation has made this continent-sized country one of the world's top emitters, but the government has vowed to curb it and has made significant strides in the past decade.

Brazilian authorities confirmed earlier this year that deforestation fell to a record low of 6,418 square kilometers (2,478 square miles) in 2011, down from a peak of 27,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles) in 2004.

Explore further: Education is key to climate adaptation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Amazon deforestation on the rise again in Brazil

Aug 03, 2011

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon accelerated in June, with more than 300 square kilometers destroyed, a 17 percent increase over the previous month, government researchers said Tuesday.

Amazon deforestation increases six-fold

May 19, 2011

A sharp increase in forest destruction in March and April in the Amazon has led Brazil to announce the creation of an emergency task force to fight against deforestation.

60% of deforested Amazon used for cattle: study

Sep 04, 2011

More than 60 percent of deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon forest are used for grazing cattle, while only five percent is used for agriculture, a new government study said.

Recommended for you

Education is key to climate adaptation

1 hour ago

Given that some climate change is already unavoidable—as just confirmed by the new IPCC report—investing in empowerment through universal education should be an essential element in climate change adaptation ...

India court slams Delhi's worsening air pollution

11 hours ago

India's environment court has slammed the government over the capital's horrendous air pollution, which it said was "getting worse" every day, and ordered a string of measures to bring it down.

US proposes stricter ozone limits

22 hours ago

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Wednesday to strengthen emission regulations for ozone, a smog-causing pollutant blamed for respiratory ailments affecting millions of Americans.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Eventide
not rated yet Oct 10, 2012
Its about time security detail like this is implemented to protect resources. Besides, the Brazilian military doesn't have much to do anyways. They should buy back land from citizens and declare entire swaths of forest land as no-access. Any unapproved human activity on infrared signatures should be investigated and be shot at. But most importantly, who will police the government to protect the forest? lol.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.