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Amazon Deforestation - BBC News

Brazilian officials have told the BBC

that there's been an aggressive increase

in deforestation since the election of

President Abbas on arrow in January an

area of Amazon rainforest roughly the

size of a football pitch is now being

cleared every minute the rainforest

which plays a vital role in regulating

the Earth's climate covers an area 20

times the size of Britain nearly two

thirds of it is in Brazil crucially it

absorbs billions of tons of carbon

dioxide every year and produces 20% of

the oxygen in the atmosphere in the

first of a series of reports our science

editor David shipment has been to see

how decades of conservation efforts are

being reversed the rich greens of the

most vibrant habitat on earth the

billions of trees store so much carbon

they help to slow down global warming

they're also home to an amazing tenth of

all species in the natural world

some are nerving others adorable but the

site of birth and dead trunks is

becoming more common with huge tracts of

forest wiped out my footsteps and

distant birdsong are the only sounds

it's tragic to see this close up to

bring these trees down to the ground

they just knocked them over with a

bulldozer this is happening all over the

Amazon to create new farmland and the

result is that the great forest has

never been under such pressure over the

decades field by fields many trees have

made way for agriculture but that's set

to speed up because of a massive push

for development the new president of

Brazil Jaya bolson ro was elected on a

promise to exploit the Amazon he's

delighted his supporters by saying too

much of the forest is protecting his

environment officials are deeply worried

but he's banned them from saying

anything in public you're trying to save

the forest so we have to meet this

official in secret his face hidden and

voice changed he says the government is

try

to cover up the loss of the forest it is

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the mayuri's and the scale of the

deforestation he describes is staggering

up here at the top of this 50 meter high

observation tower the view is just

phenomenal out over what looks like a

great ocean of green this is the canopy

of the largest rainforest in the world

the problem is that more and more of it

is being chopped down it's hard to

believe but an area the size of a

football pitch is being cleared every

single minute what that means is that

forests that could cover more than 2,000

pitches is just vanishing every day and

all the signs are that this race of

devastation will accelerate cattle are

the biggest single reason the trees are

cleared their grazing on land that used

to be forest Brazilian beef is in big

demand all over the world and the

president's vision of expanding

agriculture here has delighted the

farmers like Wanderlei vecna who says

other countries cut their forests down

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farming on an industrial scale has

already reached the Amazon but the

government wants to see more of it and

to weaken the laws protecting the

forests we asked to interview two

ministers about this but they both

refused a line often heard here is that

only Brazil can decide what to do with

the forest no one else but the fact is

the more trees are cut down the more we

lose one of the few things holding back

the rise in global temperatures so what

happens here in the coming years matters

far beyond Brazil David shook Mont BBC

news in the Amazon