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The Brazilian government has recently announced new measures — such as satellite monitoring and involvement of additional ministries — to slow down the destruction of the Amazon forest.

These new measures do not go far enough, argues a group of Latin America-based scientists in this letter to Science.

The main flaw, they say, is that the plan fails to address one of the most critical drivers of forest destruction: the rapid proliferation of new highways and other infrastructure, which greatly increases access to the Amazonian frontier. New transport projects frequently lead to a dramatic rise in illegal deforestation, mining and hunting, they say, and must be minimised if forest loss is to be reduced.

Link to full letter in Science

Reference: Science 304, 1109 (2004)