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Brazil government figures confirm spike in Amazon deforestation

By Paulo Prada RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Deforestation in the Amazon increased by nearly a third over the past year, according to Brazilian government figures released on Thursday, confirming a feared reversal in what had been steady progress over the past decade against destruction of the world's largest rainforest.

Gold mining is ravaging Peruvian Amazon

Skyrocketing gold prices have fueled an illegal mining rush that has tripled the rate of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon since 2008, researchers said Monday. The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences were made with a combination of satellite data, laser technology to map vegetation and on-the-ground surveys. "The rate of forest destruction is huge," said Greg Asner, a tropical ecologist with the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Brazil's Amazon deforestation has soared, satellite pictures suggest

RIO DE JANEIRO — Preliminary data released Tuesday by Brazil's space agency suggests Amazon deforestation spiked by more than a third during the past year, reversing a steady decline in destruction of the world's largest rainforest.
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