Greenpeace "congratulated" Brazilian soya traders who have agreed to extend for another year the moratorium on purchasing soybeans grown on illegally logged areas in the Amazon rainforest.

This moratorium on buying soya, first signed in 2006 following a campaign by Greenpeace, aims to both protect the Amazon and avert a climate catastrophe, the environmental campaign group claimed.

"This is the sort of industry initiative we need to stop the destruction of the Amazon and help to prevent runaway climate change. It was only possible because companies worldwide demanded it," Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign director said.

Highlighting the success of the campaign, Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc said: "Soya is no longer a significant force in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest… The soya moratorium is a model for all relevant sectors."

The extension was announced at a press conference in Brasília attended by Minc and the Soya Working Group, which was created to support the implementation of the moratorium and monitor violations.

The renewal was signed by Greenpeace, Brazil's Environment Ministry and by Brazilian and foreign soy traders.

An investigative report by Greenpeace in June 2009, "Slaughtering the Amazon", highlights the central role played by beef, leather and shoe companies worldwide in Amazon destruction.

The response from companies such as Nike and supermarket chains Wal-Mart and Carrefour has been that they would suspend contracts with suppliers found to be involved in Amazon deforestation. Greenpeace is calling on all Heads of State to attend the climate summit in Copenhagen in December and ensure an effective deal to avert the climate crisis.