Following Brazil’s recent announcement of a dramatic rise in Amazon deforestation in the country in the last months of 2007, the country this week announced new plans to try to slow the destruction. Plans include tapping the army to conduct inspections of known problem areas and keep deforested land from being cultivated or used for pasture, fining meat processors and soy buyers that purchase products originating from deforested areas, and denying credit to landowners who don’t maintain preservation areas. Brazil’s environment minister, Marina Silva, attributed the spike in deforestation to rising prices for corn, soy, and meat on the international market. An estimated 2,700 square miles of Amazon rainforest was destroyed in Brazil last year between August and December, with over half of it happening in November and December alone. If the country’s new plan doesn’t work, Silva said, Brazil “will have an environmental loss and an economic loss.”