At a press conference on Wednesday the minister announced that about 4,848 square kilometers or 1,870 square miles of the Amazon rain forest was lost between August 2013 and July 2014. Those figured are high, but they are still an 18% improvement over the 5,891 square kilometers that was lost within the same time period last year.
However, these statistics are drastically different from the figures that were released this year by independent research group Imazon, who uses Google Earth to determine the rate of deforestation in the Amazon. According to Imazon, a drastic increase in the deforestation rate is currently taking place.
When asked about the independent study, Teixeira’s dismissed it immediately and said that only the government’s figures are to be trusted.
“Anything else is speculation. We have been working hard to end deforestation. There are systems such as those of Imazon speculating on an increase. Now there is an official figure. I do not want to suggest others are not capable of monitoring the situation, but we cannot mix either methods or information,” Teixeira said.
If the government figures are correct, then it is certainly a sign of progress, but it is important to remember that it only shows a decrease in the current deforestation, so that means that deforestation is still happening, but to a lesser degree.
“The major message is OK, is good: Brazil has been advancing. It doesn’t mean that deforestation issue is over… We are still very far from this goal of having minimum deforestation,” Marco Lentini, coordinator of the Amazon program for the World Wide Fund for Nature said.
With so many different opinions on this subject, it is important to do your own research and come to your own conclusions!
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.