Study by INPE shows true extent of deforestation and silences Kátia Abreu

By Fátima Lessa

deforestationSenator Kátia Abreu (Social Democratic Party, Tocantins), president of the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), did not comment yesterday on data released by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) which shows a 473% increase in deforestation in the Amazon over the two-month March-April period of this year compared to the same period in 2010.

 The day before yesterday, the senator had challenged in the Senate the findings of a survey conducted in Mato Grosso (MT) which found a 537% increase in deforestation in April of this year in relation to the same month of 2010. The MT survey findings were released by the non-governmental organization Amazonian People and Environment Institute (IMAZON).

 On Tuesday night the senator told the Senate that INPE's findings, which were due to be released the following day, were made up of “data distorted by bad science”. She contended that the objective of these findings was to destabilize negotiations for reform of Brazil's Forest Code. INPE's findings however confirmed the trend verified by IMAZON, as well as the increasing deforestation in MT.

 The non-governmental organization issued a statement yesterday in which it maintained that its data had been collected and collated through fieldwork and aerial surveys conducted by IMAZON and its partner institutions.

 Translated by Eric H.