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Brazil sets a new six-month Amazon deforestation record

#Brazil #sets #sixmonth #Amazon #deforestation #record

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached record levels in the first half of 2022, the national space agency INPE said on Friday.

The world’s largest tropical rainforest has lost 3,750 square kilometers (1,450 sq mi) of jungle since the beginning of the year, the worst figures for that period since records began in 2016.

The worst value so far of 3,605 square kilometers was reached last year.

The new figure doesn’t even include the last six days of June.

This year saw the worst June for wildfires in 15 years.

Monthly records were also broken in January and February, when deforestation is typically lower, and April.

INPE satellites identified more than 2,500 fires in the Amazon last month, the largest number since more than 3,500 in June 2007 and an 11 percent increase from June 2021.

More than 7,500 fires have been recorded since the start of the year, another 17 percent increase from 2021 and the worst numbers since 2010.

“The dry season has barely started in the Amazon and we are already breaking records in environmental degradation,” said Cristiane Mazzetti of Greenpeace Brazil.

Environmentalists and opposition figures accuse President Jair Bolsonaro’s government of pursuing policies that encourage large companies to damage the environment.

“The impact of this neglect will be the increasing loss of resilience of this environment, not to mention the damage done to local communities and health,” said Mariana Napolitano of Brazil’s World Wildlife Fund.

Bolsonaro has encouraged mining and farming activities in protected areas.

Critics also accuse him of supporting impunity for prospectors, farmers and loggers involved in illegal logging.

According to the NGO Climate Observatory, the main state environmental protection agency spent only 41 percent of its monitoring budget last year.

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