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Sat Dec 8, 2018, 08:06 PM

Brazil's Amazon deforestation documented via massive satellite imaging


For 30 years, the Brazilian government has been monitoring the extent of logging in the world's largest rainforest. What began with huge photos on paper is now digital and yet trees are still being felled.

Date 08.12.2018
Author Nadia Pontes

Driving from south to north in Brazil one can observe how the landscape is changing. Where the Amazon rainforest increasingly begins to shape the landscape is also where destruction begins. The landscape alternates between dense canopies and bare, stony soil.

What the loggers leave behind is well documented. One day later, it appears on the screens of the National Brazilian Institute for Spatial Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, INPE), 2,000 kilometers further south, in Sao Jose dos Campos in the state of Sao Paulo. A whole team is in charge of documenting the deforestation.

. . .

Military dictatorship promoted Amazon deforestation

The program for the systematic documentation of deforestation started in the late 1970s. Its original objective, however, was not to protect nature. Instead, the military regime actually wanted to make sure the rainforest was being cleared as planned. The regime offered state subsidies to replace the forest with farms, and the INPE's job was to determine whether the primeval forest was really giving way to pastures and fields.

"The state subsidies ensured that the rainforest disappeared bit by bit," says researcher Dalton de Morisson Valeriano, who was involved in setting up the monitoring system. It was not until years later that the scenario changed because "there was a lot of pressure on Brazil from abroad."

More:
https://www.dw.com/en/brazils-amazon-deforestation-documented-via-massive-satellite-imaging/a-46651844

Editorials and other articles:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016221551

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