Brazil may reduce deforestation by 90 percent by 2020

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Brazil may surpass the initial goal of reducing Amazon deforestation by 80 percent by 2020, and instead reduce it by 90 percent, Brazilian Environment Minister Carlos Minc said on Tuesday.

The input of resources from the Amazon Fund, the approval of the Climate Change Fund, and the resources to be brought by the Facility Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), among others, may allow Brazil to exceed the 80 percent target, the minister said while presenting the National Program for Reduction and Replacement of Fire in Rural Areas and Forest areas (Pronafogo).

"I think we can reach 90 percent reduction in deforestation over the same period. To make that happen, integration work, prevention and planning in fighting fires is essential. Because deforestation and fires account for 18 percent of all CO2 emissions in the world, but in Brazil they represent more than 60 percent," he said.

The minister also said that the Pronafogo, which will reduce fire and burning in Brazil, may be an important mechanism for Brazil to reach the goal of greenhouse gas emissions reduction proposed for Brazil.

According to the minister, the program's goal is to reduce by 25 percent the burned area in Brazil between 2009 and 2010. By 2013, the target is to reduce the burned area by 75 percent.

The plan includes measures like hiring more firefighters in 92 municipalities that have no military units to fight fire, and acquiring equipments such as boats, aircraft and vehicles for both teams of volunteers and firefighters.

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