Amazonian Deforestation on the Rise

The start of the year 2013 seems poised to be the first time in years in which Brazilian Amazonian rain forest deforestation has increased rather then decreased. This current year 2012 has seen a reduction of up to 23% in the amount of amazonian rain forest that has been deforested for agricultural and infrastructure development. However to blunt this optimistic news satellite images from August of 2012 display 522sqkm of land clear cut for agriculture which is an increase of 163.3sqkm compared to the same time last year. The reason for why this August 2012 increase will not affect the record 2012 deforestation reduction is due to the way in which deforestation totals are measured. Deforestation is recorded yearly from August to July. What this means is that the 2012 deforestation year ended in July 2012 thus negating the impact this August spike has caused. What are reasons for this spike? The Brazilian congress and president are making efforts at the behest of the Brazilian agricultural and forestry industry to relax the current standing forest-code. This willingness by the Brazilian government to reduce environmental protection for this diverse biosphere has environmentalists alarmed as they fear that farmers and ranchers will be able to, “act with impunity”. Incidents like these are just yet another reminder for the reader that what we eat on our plate here can have dramatic and lasting repercussions elsewhere.