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The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has increased in the last year by 40 percent * a connection to the European fear of products

The trees interfere with the cultivation of soybeans * Brazil grows soybeans that have not undergone genetic engineering for the consumers in Europe who are afraid of the genetically engineered soybeans grown in the USA

John Vidal Guardian

Deforestation in the Amazon. The most difficult data for many years

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The rate of deforestation in the Amazon region in Brazil, the largest forested area in the world, has increased by 40% in the past year - according to preliminary data published last week by the Brazilian government. Nearly 24 square kilometers of primeval forest - an area equal in size to the area of ​​Albania - was lost, mainly due to cutting down trees for industry and preparing land for soybean cultivation. These numbers do not include the destruction of forests by fires that raged this year in several countries in the Amazon.

"We will take emergency measures to deal with the alarming increase in deforestation," said the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Marina Silva, a former environmental activist who also worked in rubber production in the Amazon. Silva has promised to announce new measures to protect the forest, but environmental protection organizations fear that effective protection of the forests will only be possible if new threats, including industrial-scale agriculture, can be controlled.

"These are the most difficult data for many years. The rate of progress of the agricultural book is really scary," said the spokesperson of the "Greenpeace" organization in Brazil, Paulo Adrieu. "Almost 80% of the cutting of trees is done against the law, but land preparation for the industrial cultivation of soybeans is now replacing the timber industry as the main cause of forest loss in several areas."

Most of the deforestation is taking place in the southern Amazon, where soybean farming is advancing rapidly into the states of Pará and Mato Grosso. "The data from the Forestry Bureau are at least 30% to 40% higher than in previous years," said David Cleary, director of the Amazon program at the American Organization for the Conservation of Natural Resources in Brazil; "If ways are not found to reduce the impact of the expansion of soy farming, it is difficult to expect that these figures will decrease in the coming years."

The main reason for the prosperity in soy farming is that European consumers prefer the soy grown by conventional methods in Brazil over the genetically modified soy produced in the USA. In the last three years, Brazil's share of the global soybean market increased from 24% to 34%, while the American share decreased from 57% to 43%. Brazil is expected to surpass American production within five years, but this may be at the expense of the Amazon forests .

A series of scientific reports have warned that the Amazon forests are expected to be rapidly destroyed due to the combination of climate forces and human activity. Brazil's previous government planned to invest more than $40 billion in roads, railways, reservoirs, power lines and gas pipelines in the Amazon in the coming years. This was expected to increase the rate of forest disappearance and also make them more vulnerable to fires. However, the current government has not yet fully committed to the implementation of the plan.

Evergreen forests cover less than 2% of the earth's surface, but live in them about 40-30% of all life forms in the world - up to 30 million species of plants, animals and insects. Up to 30% of the world's animal and plant species are found only in the Amazon, an area of ​​4.1 million square kilometers - larger than Western Europe. Scientists warn that the rapid rate at which forests are disappearing affects not only endangered species but also global weather patterns.

Environmentalist - Earth

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