Brazil: Amazon deforestation nearly doubles in one year

Amazon deforestation in Brazil nearly doubled between January-August and the same period of 2018, affecting an additional 6.404.4 km2 (against 3,336.7 km2), according to provisional official data provided Sunday.

This represents an increase of 91.9%.

Just for the month of August, 1,700.8 km2 disappeared, less than in July (when the figures had quadrupled), but more than three times more than in August 2018 (526.5 km2) according to the DETER system satellite alerts from the National Institute for Space Investigations (INPE).

Deforestation has been booming in the past four months: 738.2 km2 in May, 936.3 km2 in June, 2,255.4 km2 in July and now 1,700.8 km2 in August.

Experts estimate that the figure of 10,000 km2 could be reached this year for the first time since 2008.

Specialists and conservationists explain this increase in deforestation by pressure from foresters and pastoralists encouraged by the support of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to open indigenous reserves and protected areas to develop these activities as well as mining prospecting.

According to experts, there should be more outbreaks in September in the Amazon region because “the peak of deforestation takes place in July and the fire in September,” noted Ane Alencar, the scientific director of the Institute for Environmental Investigations in the Amazon (IPAM).

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