SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil will try to combat deforestation in the Amazon by sending extra federal police and environmental agents to 36 cities and towns where illegal rain forest clearing jumped dramatically last year, officials said Thursday.
Authorities will also monitor areas where deforestation occurred in an attempt to prevent the planting of crops or the raising of cattle, Environment Minister Marina Silva said.
The measures were announced after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called an emergency Cabinet meeting to address the rising problem of deforestation.
The clearing of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest jumped in the final months of 2007, spurred by heavy market demand for corn, soy and cattle. The 36 areas being targeted registered the highest rates of deforestation, environmental officials said.