Hexbyte Glen Cove Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon hits January record

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In this file photo taken on August 11, 2020 smoke rises from an illegal fire in Amazon rainforest reserve, north of Sinop in Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon set a new record for January just three weeks into the year, according to data released Wednesday, a worrying sign of the surging destruction of the world’s biggest rainforest.

Nearly 360 kilometers (140 square miles) of forest cover—an area more than six times the size of Manhattan—were destroyed in the Brazilian Amazon from January 1 to January 21, said Brazil’s national space research institute, INPE.

With 10 days to go in the month, the figure was already the worst for January since the institute launched its DETER satellite monitoring program in 2015.

Environmentalists said that translated into a high risk that 2022 would be another devastating year for the Brazilian Amazon, where deforestation has surged since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019.

“A number that high in January, which is the peak of the rainy season”—when deforestation usually falls—”certainly demands attention and leaves us extremely worried,” said Claudio Angelo of the Climate Observatory, a network of environmental groups.

“We’ll have to see how the coming months go, but it’s definitely not a good sign.”

By comparison, for January 2021 was 83 square kilometers—less than one-fourth the figure for the first 21 days of January 2022.

Last year was nevertheless a terrible year for Brazil’s 60-percent share of the Amazon. The amount of lost during INPE’s reference period, from August 2020 to July 2021, surged almost 22 percent year-on-year, to a 15-year high of 13,235 square kilometers.

It was the third straight increase under Bolsonaro, who has pushed to open protected rainforest lands to agribusiness and mining.

Bolsonaro has faced international outcry over the surging destruction of the Amazon, a key resource in the race to curb .

The Climate Observatory revealed Tuesday that Brazil’s main environmental protection agency, Ibama, had spent just 41 percent of its enforcement budget in 2021.

© 2022 AFP

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Hexbyte Glen Cove 2020 another grim year for Brazilian Amazon thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove 2020 another grim year for Brazilian Amazon

Hexbyte Glen Cove

2020 was a devastating year for the Brazilian Amazon

Deforestation destroyed the equivalent of more than two football pitches each minute in the Brazilian Amazon in 2020, another devastating year for a resource seen as vital to curbing climate change, according to government data released Friday.

Brazilian space agency INPE identified 8,426 square kilometers (3,253 square miles) of Amazon rainforest lost to in 2020, using its DETER monitoring program, which analyzes to track the destruction monthly.

That was the second-most devastating year for Brazil’s share of the world’s biggest rainforest since the program was launched in 2015.

The amount of forest destroyed was only larger in 2019, when the figure came in at 9,178 square kilometers.

Environmentalists underlined that those were also the first two years in office for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has cut funding for environmental programs and pushed to open protected Amazon lands to agribusiness and mining.

“The two years of the Bolsonaro administration have been the worst two years (of deforestation) recorded in the DETER program,” said Marcio Astrini of the Brazilian Climate Observatory, a coalition of environmental groups.

“That’s no coincidence. It’s the result of the current government’s policies of environmental destruction,” he said in a statement.

The Brazilian space agency also operates another satellite-based monitoring program known as PRODES that analyzes deforestation once a year in greater detail.

That analysis, released in November, was even more alarming: it found deforestation surged 9.5 percent annually in the 12 months to August 2020, destroying 11,088 square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon—an area larger than Jamaica.

The destruction in Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of beef and soybeans, is being driven largely by farmers, ranchers and land speculators bulldozing trees and burning them to make way for crops and pasture.

That has also fueled a surge in destructive wildfires.

The number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon increased 16 percent last year, to a total of more than 103,000.

Fires also devastated the Pantanal wetlands to the south, a paradise of biodiversity that saw an estimated one-quarter of its surface area go up in flames last year.

© 2021 AFP

2020 another grim year for Brazilian Amazon (2021, January 9)
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