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Brazil wants to count every tree in the Amazon rainforest

Posting in Government

Brazil is home to roughly 60 percent of the Amazon, about half of what remains of the world's tropical rainforests. And now, the country has plans to count every one of its trees.

A vast undertaking, the new National Forest Inventory hopes to gain "a broad panorama of the quality and the conditions in the forest cover", according to Brazil's Forestry Minister Antonio Carlos Hummel.

The census, set to take place over the next four years, will scour 3,288,000 square miles, sampling 20,000 points at 20 kilometer intervals and registering the number, height, diameter, and species of the trees, among other data.

The initiative, aimed to better allocate resources to the country's forests, is part of a large-scale turnaround in Brazil's relationship to its forests. While it once had one of the worst rates of deforestation in the world, last year only 1,797 square miles of the Amazon were destroyed - a reduction of nearly 80% compared to 2004.

Photo: Flickr/Nico Crisafulli

via [FastCo.exist]

— By on February 10, 2013, 7:10 PM PST

Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure