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  • LAC Farmlands Have More Tree Cover Than Most Suppose

    Monday, August 24th, 2009

    From the World Agroforestry Centre (WAC):
    While Farmers Frequently Blamed for Forest Loss, New Study Shows about Half of Farmlands Worldwide Have Significant Tree Cover

    Scientists Use Detailed Satellite Images to Reveal the Vital Role of Trees on One Billion Hectares of Agricultural Lands in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe

    Although agriculture, particularly in the developing world, […]

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    Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon Drops

    Friday, January 23rd, 2009

    Brazil’s Environment Minister, Carlos Minc, just announced at a press conference that the pace of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell 82% in the last five months of 2008 compared to a similar period in 2007. Minc attributes the drop to two factors: policies put into place by the federal government and regional authorities, and […]

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    Brazil Will Monitor All Its Biomass by Satellite

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    Synopsis in English: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is financing a project by the Brazilian Environment Ministry (MMA) and environment agency (IBAMA) that will expand satellite monitoring to detect deforestation from just the Amazon region (which has been underway since 1988) to all its biomass.  Thus monitoring will be added for the Cerrado, Caatinga, […]

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    Mexico Uses Environmental Service Payments to Protect Millions of Hectares

    Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

    Synopsis in English: Since 2003 Mexico has put 3.22 billion pesos into environmental services payments (pago por servicios ambientales – PSA). What is a PSA, you might ask.  PSA is an environmental policy concept that is quite the rage in recent years, pushed by such institutions as the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), […]

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    Update: Mapping Brazil’s Basins to Prepare Against Oil Spills

    Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

    Over a year ago I had a post here about the efforts of Brazil’s Environment Ministry (MMA) to prepare comprehensive atlases of the Brazilian sedimentary basins where oil and gas exploration, drilling and related activities are permitted. [80% of Brazil’s oil and gas exploration/exploitation occurs offshore.]
    The atlas covering the very important Santos Basin was released […]

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    Climate Change May Hit Andean Nations Hard

    Thursday, June 12th, 2008

    In early May the Andean Community (CAN) released its report on the probable impact of global climate change on its four member states (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru).
    One of the key conclusions of El Carmbio Climático no tiene fronteras (“Climate Change Does Not Have Borders”) is that by 2025 the impacts of global climate change will […]

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    Mexico Takes Stock of its Wetlands

    Saturday, May 31st, 2008

    Mangroves matter.
    Why? Among other reasons:

    Their dense root systems keep sediment from rivers and off the land from going out to sea. This helps stabilize the coastline and provides some protection from hurricanes and tropical storms. [Studies have shown storm damage is usually greater in coastal areas where mangroves have been cleared.] […]

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    Combatting Deforestation I: How Bad Is It in LAC?

    Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

    In my “confession and foreword” to the series on deforestation in LAC, I promised to begin with a look at the current state of knowledge about the rate and magnitude of deforestation in in the region. Here is my stab at this topic, building on an entry I originally sketched out last November regarding […]

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    Mapping Brazil’s Basins to Prepare Against Oil Spills / Atlas de bacias sedimentares vão garantir segurança contra vazamento de petróleo

    Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

    Synopsis in English: In the year 2000, a major oil spill in Rio’s Guanabara Bay finally stirred Brazil out of complacency about planning, preparing and protecting against such releases, whether from tankers or platforms. In addition to normative work (such as Law 9966 and recent National Environment Council work on discharges from maritime platforms), the […]

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