Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon at its Peak

Story Highlights
  • Deforestation in Brazils region of Amazon breaches 15-year record.
  • Brazilian Amazon lost 13,235 square kilometers of rainforest in 12-months.
  • Bolsonaro promises to eradicate the outcry of deforestation.

RIO DE JANEIRO: The area deforested in Brazil’s Amazon reached a 15-year high after a 22% jump from the previous year, according to official data published Thursday. The National Institute for Space Research’s Prodes monitoring system showed the Brazilian Amazon lost 13,235 square kilometers of rainforest in the 12-month reference period from Aug. 2020 to July 2021, the most since 2006.

The 15-year high contradicts Bolsonaro’s recent efforts to strengthen his government’s environmental credentials, including overtures to US President Joe Biden’s administration and a vow to eliminate illegal deforestation at the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow this month. The report, which was disclosed on Thursday, dated Oct. 27, which was before the start of the Glasgow negotiations.

Before Jair Bolsonaro’s term, the Brazilian Amazon has not seen a single year with more than 10,000 square kilometres of deforestation in over a decade, in January 2019.The average increased by 500 square kilometres between 2009 and 2018. Since then, the annual average has rose to 11,405 square kilometres, with the three-year total covering an area larger than Maryland. Bolsonaro along with his cabinet pledges to develop the Amazon, and eliminate global outcry about its destruction. 

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