1.1 Campaigners attack proposals to allow destruction of ancient woodlands
1.2 Environment secretary Owen Paterson has suggested 100
new trees could be planted for each ancient one destroyed
1.3 Critics of the proposal warn that the proposals could result in the destruction of forests dating from around 1600
1.4 Green campaigners have urged the government not to "gamble" with England's natural heritage after the
environment secretary defended plans to allow developers to destroy ancient woodland.
1.5 Paterson said that "biodiversity offsetting" could accelerate construction,
providing jobs and easing the pressure on housing prices.
1.6 While destroying mature trees was a "tragic loss", replacing each with
100 new ones would "deliver a better environment over the long term"
1.7 The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said any move to build on ancient woodland
would be restricted to major projects and would only get planning permission in exceptional cases.
1.8 While speeding up development was
welcome, there was a risk developers were
given "carte blanche" to concrete over
1.9 Offsetting should only be used
as a "last resort", policy director
Hilary Allison told the Times –
criticising Paterson's suggestion
that an hour's journey by car
would be close enough to do
4.1 Brazil says the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by
28% between August 2012 and last July, after years of decline.
4.2 The government is working to reverse this "crime", Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said.
4.3 Activists have blamed the
increase in destruction on a
controversial reform to
Brazil's forest protection law.
4.4 Last year Brazil reported the lowest rate of deforestation in the Amazon since monitoring began.
4.5 The provisional statistics from August 2012 to last July
suggest that the area suffering deforestation was 5,843
sq km (2,255 sq miles), compared to 4,571 sq km
(1,765 sq miles) in the previous 12 months
4.6 The 28% rise interrupts a period of declining deforestation
which began in 2009. However, it still remains the second
lowest annual figure for forest loss in absolute terms
4.7 The worst year on record was
2004, when 27,000 sq km of
forest was destroyed.
4.8 Environmentalists say the controversial reform of the forest
protection law in 2012 is to blame for the upwards trend in Brazil.
4.9 The changes reduced protected areas in farms and
declared an amnesty for areas destroyed before 2008.
4.10 Agriculture accounts for more than 5% of the Brazilian GDP.
4.11 The Brazilian government made a commitment in 2009 to
reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 80% by the year
2020, in relation to the average between 1996 and 2005.
4.12 Brazil showed the best improvement
of any country, cutting its
deforestation rate in half in the period
2000-2012, from approximately
40,000 sq km per year to
approximately 20,000 sq km per year.
4.13 But overall the planet saw a net loss of of 1.5 million sq km of forest - an area the size of Mongolia.