- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BRASILIA, BRAZIL (AP) - Brazil’s government says deforestation in the Amazon rain forest has dropped to its slowest pace in 22 years.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira says satellite imagery of the National Institute for Space Research shows that 2,490 square miles (6,450 square kilometers) of the Amazon was deforested between August 2009 and July 2010, a 14 percent drop from a year earlier. It says the margin of error is 10 percent.

The space research institute says in a statement that the area deforested is the least since 1988.

Teixeira said Wednesday it is “the lowest deforestation level in the history of the Amazon and we are committed to continue to lower it.”

The government credits better enforcement of environmental laws.

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