PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009

PHOTOS: Ten Environmental Wins of 2009
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Brazil Deforestation Rate Slows

About 2,700 square miles (7,000 square kilometers) of the Brazilian Amazon were cleared between August 2008 and July 2009, the government's environment minister announced in November--down from an average of two to three times as much in recent years.

The reduction was prodded by the United Nations' Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, or REDD, program. Developing countries receive financial incentives to keep forests intact. Since forests absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the acts of conservation help keep emissions down.

"Many people worry it might not last, but it is certainly the most tangible large environmental change that we've seen in a very, very long time," said Stuart Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University.

(Read more about REDD and the Copenhagen Climate Negotiations.)
—Photograph from AP
 
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