Amazon losing 1,500 sq km each year

July 23rd, 2010 - 11:18 am ICT by IANS  

Lima, July 23 (IANS/EFE) Around 1,500 sq km (579 sq miles) of the Amazon forest is lost each year due to deforestation and environmental degradation in Peru.
Peru has 68 million hectares (262,550 sq miles) of Amazon rainforest, and it is “absolutely unacceptable” that an expanse 10 times the size of Callao, a leading port city west of Lima, disappears each year “as a result of deforestation and the degradation of our natural forests”, a report by the National Ombud’s Office said.

Ombudsman Beatriz Merino said that 42 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are due to the degradation of forest soils and that the situation is especially worrying because forests are the life blood of Amazon’s indigenous communities.

Faced with an alleged lack of government aid and public services, Amazon communities cut down trees to cover their basic necessities even though they know they should protect those resources, the report said.

The report was prepared after studying the operations of 81 state institutions dedicated to preservation of forest resources and evaluated the work of eight regional governments located in the Amazon region.

–IANS/EFE

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