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Record January high in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest deforestation

Record January high in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest deforestation

According to Friday’s government data, Brazil saw the most deforestation in the Amazon rainforest’s history for January. This is despite recent government promises to stop it from getting worse. According to preliminary satellite data provided by Inpe, Brazil’s Amazon saw deforestation of 430 kilometers (166 miles) in January. This figure is five times greater than January 2021.

This is the highest January data series since 2015/2016. It’s equivalent to an area seven times larger than Manhattan. Environmental researchers stated that they weren’t surprised to see the destruction continuing to rise and pointed to President Jair Bolsonaro, right-winger,’s weakening environmental protections since he assumed office in 2019.

Britaldo Soares Folho, an environmental modeling researcher at Federal University of Minas Gerais, stated that speculators are increasing clearing forest for illegal land grabs. They don’t fear punishment. High prices for beef, soybeans and other commodities are driving the demand for cheap land. Soares Filho stated that people might be surprised that it did not increase further.

“There is a race against the Amazon to deforest it.” Bolsonaro’s office did not respond when we asked for comment.

According to the Environment Ministry, comparing single months is not a good way to see the whole picture. They stated that deforestation in August and January fell slightly compared with the same period last year. The ministry stated in a statement to Reuters that the federal government will act more aggressively in 2022 in order to combat environmental crimes.

Because of the immense amount of greenhouse gas absorbed by its trees and forests, the preservation of the Amazon is crucial to halting climate change. Bolsonaro has long advocated for more mining and commercial agriculture in the Amazon to lift the region from poverty.

Brazil signed a global agreement to stop forest destruction by 2030, despite international pressure from Europe and the United States. Inpe released data shortly after these commitments showing that the Brazilian Amazon saw its highest level of deforestation in 15 years. The destruction is still mounting, according to preliminary January data.

POLITICAL CHANGE Ana Karine Pereira from the University of Brasilia said that while Bolsonaro’s government changed their tone last yea, their policies are the same.

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Pereira and Soares Filho said that deforestation would only stop increasing if Bolsonaro loses October’s presidential election. Pereira stated that it was crucial to change the political profile of the president, and the federal government leadership in order to see a halt in the trend of high deforestation.

High levels of deforestation in the current rainy period is uncommon, as the rainforest is more difficult to access for loggers. The January data showed that deforestation was still less than half what is typical during the peak months of June to September. Inpe’s deforestation monitoring expert said to Reuters that the sudden increase in clearing last month could have been partially due the increased cloud cover in November/December than the previous year.

The person speaking on condition of anonymity said that those clouds could have shielded satellites from destruction in the months between December and January. Despite this, cloud coverage declined to 43% in January, from 54% in Dec.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff. It is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.

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