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Amazon deforestation due in part to soybean growing

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Posted September 18, 2013

Fighting deforestation of the Amazon for cattle raising and farming is one of the great rallying cries of the world’s conservationists.

Combine harvesters crop soybeans in Campo Novo do Parecis, Brazil, March 27, 2012
Combine harvesters crop soybeans during a demonstration for the press, in Campo Novo do Parecis, Brazil, on March 27, 2012.

And, while soybean growing’s impact on the vast jungle has eased since a moratorium imposed in 2006, Brazil’s huge soybean industry is still indirectly responsible for the felling of trees.

The mechanism goes like this: soybean growers take over land that has already been deforested, worked and worn out by cattle ranchers. The ranchers then move on to burn down fresh areas of Amazon.

Brazil is the world’s second largest producer and exporter of soybean, after the United States.

Back in 2006, amid pressure from conservationists, the country’s main soybean exporters stopped buying crops grown on deforested land.

This stemmed from a campaign launched by Greenpeace at the request of customers like Carrefour and McDonald’s.

“This drastically reduced our industry’s impact on the Amazon,” said Bernardo Machado Pires, head of environmental affairs at the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (Abiove).

 

Read more at: Phys.org

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