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Brazil says deforestation is slowing

Associated Press / December 2, 2010

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BRASILIA — Brazil’s government said yesterday that deforestation in the Amazon rain forest has declined to its slowest pace in more than two decades.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said satellite imagery from the National Institute for Space Research shows that 2,490 square miles of the Amazon were deforested between August 2009 and July 2010, a 14 percent drop from a year earlier. It said the margin of error is 10 percent.

The space research institute said in a statement that the area deforested is the least since 1988.

Teixeira said yesterday that it is “the lowest deforestation level in the history of the Amazon, and we are committed to continue to lower it.’’

The government credits better enforcement of environmental laws.