Brazil's Rainforest Menaced by USA Roadway Plan
New Brazil roads could destroy rainforest
Below is a little squib about a U.S.-sponsored road project that has received little attention. Thanks to www.ananova.com for uncovering this.
A study in Brazil says that a plan to repair and build four major roads could harm more than one-third of the country's Amazon rainforest over the next 20 years.
The study was prepared by scientists at the National Institute of Amazon Research and two US universities - Oregon State University and Michigan State University.
Work on the roads in four states, totalling 3,500 kilometres (2,170 miles), is part of a $40 million economic development programme known as Advance Brazil.
The study claims that the programme could destroy between 28% and 42% of the forest's 4 million square kilometres (1.6 million square miles).
Researchers fear that once the work is finished, the roads will provide easy access by loggers and ranchers to a swath of untouched vegetation, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the forest - thereby speeding up deforestation.
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