Brazil: The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) released the data of deforestation. The data revealed that only 12 percent of the original area of the Atlantic Forest biome has been preserved. Around 1.13 million square kilometer (88 percent of original) of area is deforested. IBGE presented data for the year 2010. After Atlantic, the Pampa gaucho is the most deforested: lost 54 percent of its original area of 177,700 square kilometer by 2009.
The devastation of Cerrado, the second largest biome in the country, reached 49.1 percent in 2010. Two years ago, the IBGE had pointed out devastation of 48.37 percent in Cerrado. The scrub lost 45.6 percent of its original 826,400 square kilometer. The Pantanal is the smallest and best preserved biome: lost 15 percent of the total area of 150,400 square kilometer. The IBGE showed deforestation rates of all extra-Amazonian biomes.
Biomes are regions with homogeneous ecosystems in relation to vegetation, soil, climate, fauna and flora. Brazil is divided into six biomes. The IBGE study drew attention to the fact that deforestation and damage to land, water and fauna and flora, increases emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Monitoring of biomes is essential not only for its preservation but for any type of intervention or law seeking to regulate the use of natural resources in Brazil. From the surveys and the remaining areas of deforestation, Brazil will know where are the areas that need to be recovered and which may serve to economic activities, without opening new areas,” revealed the study.
As the most devastated biome, the Atlantic also has the largest number of endangered fauna species: around 260. In total, the IBGE indicated nine extinct species, 122 species critically endangered, 166 endangered and 330 vulnerable.
Although the pace of deforestation in the Amazon region has decreased since 2008, the loss of original vegetation reached 14.83 percent in 2011, according to estimates released at the IDS 2012 by the IBGE. In a previous research, the index was at 14.6 percent in 2009.
“Deforestation and inadequate sanitary conditions for the population, combined with high rainfall are the factors which favour transmission of diseases by insects in the North,” revealed the IBGE survey, noting that 99.5 percent of malaria cases occur in the Amazon.