Amazonia: deforestation still at its highest in the Brazilian Amazon

Compared to July 2021, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 1.5% last month. However, it remains close to recording levels.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell 1.5% last month compared to July 2021 but remains near record highs. This then prompts new warnings about the rampant destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.

Satellite monitoring reflected 1,476 square kilometers of destroyed forest cover, according to figures released Friday, August 5, by the national space agency’s DETER monitoring program. This figure is slightly lower than the 1,498 square kilometers detected in July last year, but remains the fifth worst month since the start of the program in 2015.

The other four worst months on record are July 2019, 2020 and 2021 and August 2019, all with over 1,400 square kilometers of cut forest, and all under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Jair Bolsonaro accused of being responsible for this deforestation

Critics accuse the far-right leader, who is running for president in October, of fueling deforestation by failing to provide the means to enforce environmental laws and by supporting the agri-food and mining industries.

Since Jair Bolsonaro took office in January 2019, average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75% compared to the previous decade, despite growing warnings about the health of the rainforest, a massive “carbon sink”. considered a vital resource in the race to contain climate change.

“It is alarming to see such high rates of deforestation at a time when we are already experiencing the effects of climate change: droughts, extreme temperatures, floods,” said Edegar de Oliveira of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Brazil.

“The Bolsonaro administration is entering its final months with record environmental destruction,” he added in a statement sent to AFP.

July typically marks the start of the most intense season for deforestation in the Amazon, when dry weather allows for more clearcuts.

Deforestation is also highest in the Cerrado, a tropical savannah south of the Amazon. In the last 12 months, 5,426 square kilometers have been destroyed, an increase of 11.5% compared to the previous year, according to INPE

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