The Return of Nothin' Brazil
The amount of logging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has risen to the highest level since 1995, provoking the country’s government to renew its pledges to reduce deforestation. Last year, 7,659 square miles of forest — an area about the size of Belgium — were lost to logging. Mary Allegretti, the government’s official who coordinates environmental policy for the Amazon, said a growing economy typically requires more timber and more land and could be blamed for the boost in logging. “Economic activity implies deforestation,” she explained. Still, she said the government would make it harder for landowners to cut down trees without prior authorization to do so. Meanwhile, some timber companies in the Amazon believe that land managed for longer-term, more sustainable logging may be the way to go.