How Many Trees in the Rainforest? Brazil to Count

Census to inform policy decisions

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 8, 2013 8:26 AM CST

(Newser) – Brazil doesn't know enough about its tropical forest, says its environmental minister—so it's going to take a census of its trillions of trees. Over the next four years, officials will travel the country, stopping at 20,000 locations, each about 12 miles from the next. There, they'll gather info on the following: number, height, diameter, and species of trees. They'll also examine soil qualities and how locals work with the forest.

The government can then use that information to inform policy as it works to further decrease deforestation, reports Fast Company, which notes this is the biggest such undertaking since 1983. The goal of the National Forest Inventory: "a broad panorama of the quality and the conditions in the forest cover," the country's forestry minister tells AFP. "We are going to come to know the rainforest from within."

In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, a deforested area is seen near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para.
In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, a deforested area is seen near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
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