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World Briefing / South America

Protected forest zones planned

October 21, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Three South American nations announced a joint plan to establish protected zones in the vast Atlantic Forest as part of an effort to halt deforestation by 2020.

Speaking at the World Forestry Congress, representatives of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay said their governments are committed to achieving "net zero deforestation" -- meaning their total amount of forest land would remain stable by that date.

"We plan to maintain over 1 million hectares [3,861 square miles] of forest intact, which will protect the areas from being cleared for farming or any other industrial purposes," said Gov. Maurice Closs of Argentina's Misiones province.

The Atlantic Forest, home to the famous Iguazu falls and numerous plant and animal species, is one of the most endangered rain forests in the world.

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