The Brazilian government plans to unveil specific measures to try to halt the rapid devastation of the Amazon rain forest, a newspaper reported Saturday.
The so-called green package, to be disclosed publicly this week, includes such measures as barring new settlements in virgin forests, said the Rio daily, O Globo.Public and private agencies have long maintained that the main cause of the destruction was the burning and logging of huge tracts of land to create grazing pastures.
The government is also expected to increase aid to small farmers to reduce their dependency on a technique for clearing land known as slash and burn, and to restrict credit in areas covered with forest.
The government also will no longer grant land ownership titles in regions that have been deforested without authorization.
Instead, the government will offer financing to farmers who plant crops or engage in projects suited to the Amazon ecosystem, such as raising exotic fish.
The latest figures show deforestation nearly doubled between 1994 and 1995 - from 5,958 square miles to 11,621 square miles. The latter figure is larger than the state of Vermont.
Between 1978 and 1996, more than 200,000 square miles - or 12.5 percent - of the Amazon's rain forest were destroyed.