Thursday, April 4, 2013

Foreign demand for beef, soybeans adds pressure on Amazon forest

Alister Doyle in Reuters: Rising foreign demand for beef and soybeans will tempt Brazil to clear more of the Amazon rainforest, in a reversal of recent success in slowing forest losses, a study said on Thursday.

About 30 percent of deforestation in Brazil in the decade to 2010 was due to farmers and ranchers seeking land to expand export production of beef and soybeans, against about 20 percent in the 1990s, the report said.

"Trade is emerging as a key driver of deforestation in Brazil," according to experts at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo (Cicero). "This may indirectly contribute to loss of the forests that industrialized countries are seeking to protect through international agreements," they wrote in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Exports of beef and soybeans accounted for 2.7 billion metric tons (1 metric ton = 1.102 tons) of carbon emissions caused by Brazil's deforestation in the decade to 2010, the report said. That exceeds greenhouse gas emissions of a nation such as Egypt over the same period....

Beef cuts in Brazil, by MarioM, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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