Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has slowed dramatically in recent years as a result of stricter government enforcement of illegal activities and a slowdown in the cattle and soybean industries, researchers say. And with a sizable investment, Brazil could build on this trend and halt forest clearing by 2020, which would cut global carbon dioxide emissions by 2 to 5 percent, according to a study in Science. “Market forces and Brazil’s political will are converging in an unprecedented opportunity to end deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon with 80 percent of the forest still standing,” said Daniel Nepstad, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and lead author of the study. Since 2005, Brazil has reduced the rate of deforestation by 64 percent. According to the study, an investment of $6.5 to $18 billion in several areas from 2010 to 2020 can help Brazil end deforestation. Key steps include supporting jobs in forest communities that do not result in forest clearing; rewarding responsible cattle ranchers and farmers; stricter environmental enforcement; and better management of protected areas.
This piece originally appeared on Yale Environment 360.
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