Monday, April 10, 2006

Logging company in Amazon shut down

Let's hear one for Ipaam, Brazil's environmental authority.

The Norte Wood logging company was shut down for operating without a license in the Amazonas state town of Novo Aripuana, some 1,600 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro.

Scientists say the deforestation reduces the area's rich biodiversity and contributes to global warming. Burning in the Brazilian Amazon releases about 370 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year, about 5.4 percent of the world total.

Brazil's rain forest is the size of Western Europe and covers 60 percent of the country's territory. Experts say as much as 20 percent of its 1.6 million square miles has already been destroyed by development, logging and farming.

The rain forest lost 7,300 square miles — an area more than half the size of Belgium — between July 2004 and August 2005, down from 10,500 square miles the year before, according to Environment Minister Marina Silva.

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