Amid a loosening of environmental laws under Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has exceeded 11,000 square kilometers, according to official data released on Monday.
The data shows that deforestation reached its worst rate since 2008, when a national deforestation monitoring program called PRODES recorded 12,911 square kilometers of forests lost.
PRODES monitors deforestation in the Legal Amazon, comprising the western territory of the state of Maranhão and the entire territory of the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins, using satellites and has published annual rates since 1988.
The deforested area in the Amazon was 11,088 square kilometers between August 2019 and July 2020, according to official figures by the National Institute of Space Research, an increase of 9.5 percent over the previous period (August 2018 to July 2019), which recorded 10,129 square kilometers.
The data released today show that the Bolsonaro administration and Environment Minister Ricardo Salles failed to fulfill plans announced in 2019.Without citing any goal, Salles said at the time that he intended to eliminate illegal deforestation with the establishment of what he called just “strategies,” without explaining them. SOVEREIGNPH