Brazil has realized for quite some time that its deforestation practices are having a serious effect on climate change. At the same time, the economic and cultural factors that are causing deforestation–particularly the clearing of Amazon rainforest for farm and ranch land–has been helping Brazilians achieve a higher standard of living. Brazil ratified the Kyoto Accords in 2002, and since then the Brazilian government has been instituting conservation units to help slow the rate of deforestation. In the past 6 years Brazil has set aside more than 200,000 square kilometers of rainforest as parks, nature preserves and national forests. Between 2004 and 2007, the rate of deforestation has fallen by more than 50%, according to the Brazilian government. Is it enough? Maybe not, but at least the situation appears to be improving.
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