Deforested Amazon used for cattle

2011-09-03 22:43

Brasilia - More than 60% of deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon forest are used for grazing cattle, while only 5% is used for agriculture, a new government study said.

From research of satellite imagery, Brazilian officials found of the 719 000 square kilometres cleared up to 2008, a whopping 62% was left as just grass, and that the use amounted to on average one cow per hectare, roughly the size of a football field.

"Having less than one head of cattle per hectare is unacceptable," said Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira in comments quoted by the Brazilian press on Saturday.

"It's a waste, because the forest is being replaced by something that does not generate income or growth," she lamented.

While 5% of the land goes to agriculture, some 21% is effectively abandoned and left to its own regeneration.

Brazil, which has jurisdiction over most of the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, has committed to drastically reduce deforestation by 80% by 2020, though preliminary data indicates that in the last 12 months the process has in fact increased by some 15%, according to government figures.

  • OZNOB - 2011-09-04 06:49

    what a waste - they could have earned way more by not removing the forest and having eco tourism but oh no they want to just graze cows there as if we do not have enough cows on the planet

  • Utopian - 2011-09-04 06:50

    What needs to be added is the reason for the cattle and their low ratio: fat meat for Amercan hamburgers. A very lucrative export. Another hidden Mammonistic Americanism...

  • Cynix - 2011-09-04 12:03

    Good heavens - ANCYL is looking for Brazil as an example of farming.

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