“The deforestation data themselves show that we now have a very complicated situation which is out of control in the Amazon. ”
If there is a further increase in deforestation in July, Brazil is heading for annual deforestation of more than 15,000 square kilometers, an area larger than Connecticut, said Ane Alencar, scientific director of Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) of Brazil.
This would be an increase from 10,129 square kilometers last year and the highest level of deforestation since 2005, according to official government data.
Inpe measures annual deforestation from August 2019 to July 2020, and the figures should be published at the end of the year.
Researchers and conservationists blame Bolsonaro for emboldening loggers, ranchers and illegal land speculators by weakening environmental law enforcement and calling for more mining and farming in the Amazon to develop l ‘economy.
Bolsonaro says he is unjustly demonized and that Brazil has an exemplary environmental record, showing vast stretches of forest that remain standing.
Following global pressure, particularly from foreign investment companies, Bolsonaro has deployed armed forces to fight deforestation since May and next week is expected to ban fires in the Amazon region for 120 days.
Bolsonaro signed a decree extending the authorization for military deployment until November 6, according to a notice published Friday in the government’s official journal.
Scientists say preserving the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, is essential to curbing climate change because of the large amount of greenhouse gases it absorbs and stores.
From January 1 to June 25, IPAM and the U.S.-based Woods Hole Research Center have calculated that deforestation and fires in the Brazilian Amazon have released 115 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, up about 20% compared to the same period a year ago. This is, according to their analysis, the equivalent of the annual emissions of 25 million cars.