The global financial crisis will likely slow forest clearing in the Amazon rainforest, said Brazil's environment minister.

Falling commodity prices combined with tighter credit and increased aversion to risk will undermine the economics of activities — including logging and agricultural expansion — that are key drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Forest clearing in the region has shown an increasingly tight correlation to beef and soy prices in recent years. Both products are produced on cleared rainforest lands.

"It's true that the reduction of commodity prices reduces (deforestation) pressure," Minc told Reuters at the Reuters Global Environment Summit in Brasilia.

Market turmoil and increased risk aversion amid a widening financial crisis may also dent emerging efforts to use carbon markets to finance forest conservation.

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