Mexico reduces annual deforestation 34 percent

MEXICO CITY (AP) ? Mexico’s environment secretary says the country has reduced the average annual loss of forests and jungles.

Juan Elvira says deforestation in Mexico has averaged 383,000 acres (152,000 hectares) a year over the most recent five years. That is down 34 percent from the 580,000 acres (235,000 hectares) lost annually from 2000 through 2005.

Elvira says the government has spent strongly since 2007 for programs to conserve and restore forests.

He says Mexico’s National Forestry Commission has an annual budget of 6.4 billion pesos ($512 million) and 69 percent of that goes to reforestation programs.

Elvira made the comments Wednesday.