The Brazilian government is opening its timber reserves in the Amazon rain forest to commercial loggers. Unable to stop the rampant illegal logging, Brazil hopes to combine economic potential with controlled development. While Brazil has in the past opened reserves to logging, the new concessions are the first that will be sold for logging in the Amazon rain forest. The forest reserves cover 2.2 million ha. The initial opening will cover 5003.75 ha near the Tapajos River in Para state. The contracts will run for a year. The areas were selected for logging because of its complete inventories on all the trees there. While illegal deforestation is not a new problem in Brazil, the recent arrival of several Asian logging companies, which bought failing domestic logging companies, has fueled concerns of a rapid acceleration in deforestation. A recent government study found that around 80 per cent of the timber extracted from the Amazon is being removed illegally.
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