Since far-right Jair Bolsonaro reached the Brazilian presidency on January 1, 2019, deforestation in the country’s Amazon has skyrocketed
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in the first half of the year affected 2,544 square kilometers of forest, 24% more than the logging recorded between January and June 2019, according to a study released this Friday.
According to the Institute of Man and the Environment of the Amazon, it is the second highest rate of devastation recorded in a semester since 2010. In June alone, the largest rainforest on the planet lost 822 square kilometers of native vegetation.
The study again highlighted the threat of the continued advance of deforestation for the Amazon’s environmental reserves, which in the sixth month of the year swept nearly 100 square kilometers of these conservation units, many of which are indigenous territories.
The Florex Rio-Preto Jacundá reserve, located in Roraima, the state bordering Venezuela, was the hardest hit in June, with 47 square kilometers of devastated area. It was followed by the environmental conservation units Triunfo do Xingu and Flona do Jamanxim, both in the Amazon state of Pará, with 27 and 23 square kilometers cut down, respectively.
The indigenous lands most affected by deforestation were those of the Apyterewa, Mundurucu and Kayapó ethnic groups, all also from the Pará region, which is the most devastated of all the ones that make up the Brazilian Amazon.
According to Imazon, the state of Pará recorded 43% of total deforestation in the largest forest on the planet, followed by Amazonas (21%), Mato Grosso (14%), Rondonia (14%), Acre (7%) Roraima (1%).
The study also revealed that of the more than 800 square kilometers devastated in June, 213 were from degraded areas, i.e. those where burning and selective extraction of trees are performed for the purpose of marketing wood.
Since far-right Jair Bolsonaro came to the Brazilian presidency on January 1, 2019, deforestation in the country’s Amazon has skyrocketed.
In 2019 it jumped 85%, to 9,165 square kilometers, its highest level since 2016, according to official data. Already the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noted that Brazil is walking towards the second consecutive year of increasing deforestation in the Amazon since the far-right leader got to power.
In recent weeks Bolsonaro has been pressured by environmental organizations, large Brazilian companies and foreign investors who have expressed concern about the preservation of the Amazon, which already faces a new season of fires.