Mud cakes the feet of a man working at an illegal wildcat gold mine on an area of deforested Amazon rainforest near the city of Morais Almeida, Para State June 25, 2013. The Amazon rainforest is being... more 
Mud cakes the feet of a man working at an illegal wildcat gold mine on an area of deforested Amazon rainforest near the city of Morais Almeida, Para State June 25, 2013. The Amazon rainforest is being eaten away at by deforestation, much of which takes place as areas are burnt by large fires to clear land for agriculture. Initial data from Brazil's space agency suggests that destruction of the vast rainforest - the largest in the world - spiked by more than a third over the past year, wiping out an area more than twice the size of the city of Los Angeles. If the figures are borne out by follow-up data, they would confirm fears of scientists and environmental activists who warn that farming, mining and Amazon infrastructure projects, coupled with changes to Brazil's long-standing environmental policies, are reversing progress made against deforestation. Environmental issues will be under the spotlight as a United Nations Climate Change Conference opens in Warsaw, Poland on November 11. Picture taken on June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Nacho Doce (BRAZIL - Tags: ENVIRONMENT POLITICS SOCIETY AGRICULTURE) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 48 OF 55 FOR PACKAGE 'AMAZON - FROM PARADISE TO INFERNO' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'AMAZON INFERNO' less 
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Reuters | Photo By NACHO DOCE / REUTERS
Mon, Nov 11, 2013 5:34 AM EST