Brazil v satellites: Data seen as way to cut illegal logging


Inequality in Brazil’s Amazon has fuelled a race to the bottom, when it comes to eradicating illegal logging, the country’s minister of agriculture says.

In a Guardian article, Geddel Vieira Lima says Amazon deforestation has dropped since the present government came to power in 2014, yet it is important to make sure farming operations are monitored properly to prevent further destruction.

Such measures will entail having constant access to satellite imagery, the minister claims.

“At the most basic level, we want [the satellite] to have constant access to monitoring information to see where people are cutting down trees to grow soy, or whatever it might be, because this isn’t just to stop people cutting down trees, but also because it allows us to manage what the farmers are allowed to plant on their land, so we manage land better,” said Vieira Lima.

The data will be analysed by officials and incorporated into development plans for the area, he says.

President Michel Temer has previously pledged to make access to the supply of satellite data more accessible in order to combat illegal logging and build up Brazil’s productivity.

The state of Para in western Brazil remains the most affected region. At least 45 Brazilians have lost their lives in forest fires in recent months.

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