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Brazil's government announced protection for swath of Amazon rainforest as big as Lebanon

The Brazilian government has designated nearly 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) of land in the Amazon rainforest as a protected area.

That's an area slightly smaller than the nation of Lebanon, and the Brazilian environment ministry said Monday that expanse is now under its protection in a bid to halt deforestation in the area.

The ministry says it will allow sustainable development in the area, as it does in many other parts of the Amazon.

That means letting mostly subsistence farmers use the forest in ways that won't destroy it. Among those are managed forestry for selling timber and modern farming techniques that increase production using less land, ending the need to clear more forest for fields.