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DEFORESTATION IN RAIN FOREST FELL 20% IN '91

Devastation of Brazil's vast Amazon rain forest declined by 20 percent last year, the government said Friday.

The science and technology secretary, Edson Machado de Sousa, said 4,440 square miles of virgin rain forest were destroyed in 1991 compared to 5,520 square miles in 1990.Most of last year's destruction took place in the jungle states of Amazonas, Para and Rondonia.

De Sousa said satellite photographs "confirm deforestation is on a downward trend." He attributed the reduction to stricter control and to ending government subsidies to large agricultural projects.

The government in June will host an environmental summit dealing with issues like deforestation.