Nearly Half of Amazon Is Protected But Vulnerable
While nearly 44 percent of the Brazilian Amazon has protected status, poor management and limited oversight make many areas susceptible to human encroachment and development, including logging and mining, according to a new report. As of late 2010, almost 2.2 million square kilometers of the Amazon was protected, with about half of that area falling within the borders of national parks and the other half protected as indigenous territories. But even within those areas, more than 12,000 square kilometers of forest were cleared from 1998 to 2009, particularly in areas designated as “sustainable use” reserves, according to the study by Imazon and the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). The main threat is lack of planning or oversight, researchers say. Half of the protected areas have no approved management plan, and 45 percent have no management council. According to the report, 1,338 mining titles have been granted in protected areas and another 10,348 are awaiting approval.