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Originally published Friday, January 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

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Brazil to do a biodiversity study of the Amazon

The Brazilian government says it's undertaking a four-year, $33 million study of its vast Amazon rainforest to compile a detailed inventory of the plants, animals and people that live there.

The Associated Press

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BRASILIA, Brazil —

The Brazilian government says it's undertaking a four-year, $33 million study of its vast Amazon rainforest to compile a detailed inventory of the plants, animals and people that live there.

Environment Minister Isabella Teixeira on Friday signed an accord with the country's national development bank, which is funding the study. The government says the inventory will help in formulating environmental policies aimed at preserving the forest and preventing deforestation.

Last year, Brazil lost 4,656 square kilometers (1,797 square miles) of Amazon to deforestation. That's the smallest amount on record.

More than 60 percent of the Amazon's 6.1 million square kilometers are located in Brazil.

The government's last study of the region dates back to 1983.

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