Deforestation in Rio Branco, Brazil
About half of the remaining global rain forest is located in the Amazon area. From the 1970s onwards, many Amazonian rain forest has been cut down, mainly for cattle farming serving the international beef and leather trade.
Until 2004, the average deforestation rate was about 18,700 km2 per year*. The rates have considerably decreased from 2005 onwards, but still 108,000 km2 of rain forest have disappeared since then. Fortunately, the Brazilian government is taking efforts to recover and reforest degraded pastures, in order to restrengthen the Earth’s vital lungs.
The 100 m false-colour image of 3 August 2016 shows Rio Branco, a city in western Brazil, in the image centre. Deforested areas appear as a fishbone pattern in grey-blue, with the distinct southern edge forming the Brazilian-Bolivian border. The unaffected rain forest is visible in red colours and in the right corner the Madre de Dios River meanders southwestward.
*: values obtained from Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE).