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Page last updated at 06:40 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 07:40 UK

Brazil unveils deforestation plan

By Tim Hirsch
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Rainforest destruction in Brazil
Brazil's disappearing rainforests have long been of concern

The Brazilian government has pledged to end net deforestation by 2015.

It is one of the key commitments in a draft climate change plan, which stops short of setting specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan - setting out how Brazil will help prevent climate change, and how it will adapt to it - was promised nearly a year ago by President Lula.

But the environmental group Greenpeace criticised it for simply highlighting existing proposals.

It said the draft did not explain how they would be brought into action.

Aggressive plan

In the provisional version which will go for public consultation before being finalised, no specific targets are set for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions amongst Brazil's industrial sectors.

But with deforestation accounting for 75% of the country's emission, it sets out a timetable to reduce forest loss to a point where by 2015, more Brazilian trees are being planted than are cut down.

According to the Environment Minister Carlos Minc, this will be possible through an aggressive programme of restoring native forests, as well as further crackdowns on illegal logging.

Other measures outlined in the document are incentives to improve energy efficiency and to encourage renewable energy sources such as wind power.

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