SAO PAULO, Brazil - Brazil's government says annual destruction of the Amazon rain forest has fallen to its lowest recorded level.

Brazil's National Institute for Space Research tracks destruction of the Amazon by analyzing satellite data. They say about 6,240 square kilometres of the Amazon were destroyed between August 2010 through July 2011.

That's the lowest annual amount destroyed since 1988, when tracking began. And it's down 11 per cent from last year. The destruction peaked in 1995, when 29,060 square kilometres were destroyed.

Some warn the drop is less a result of the government's stepped-up efforts to stop deforestation than by the global economic downturn, which has lessened demand for products that lead to the destruction.