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Policy Interventions in the Amazon Rainforest

In 2010, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) documented a decrease in the world deforestation over the previous ten years. The recent slowdown is good news, but the rate still is alarmingly high. To gain some perspective, the world has approximately 4 billion hectares of forested area – about 31% of total land area. During the 1990s the world lost 16 million hectares of forests per year, while during the 2000s we lost around 13 million hectares per year. Because some areas experience significant afforestation and forest regrowth, the net forest loss worldwide went down from 8.3 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 5.2 million hectares annually between 2000 and 2010. The reduction on the deforestation rate is considerable, but the rate is still high. Five million hectares is approximately the area of Costa Rica. Losing every year a forested area of the size of Costa Rica seems far from desirable.

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