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Amazon. Deforestation has peaked in 15 years

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Brazil’s Amazon deforestation is at its highest in 15 years, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) officially released on Thursday. “These numbers are a challenge for us, we will have to be more decisive in the face of environmental crime,” said Environment Minister Joaquim Leite.

The deforested area of ​​the Amazon in the period from August 2019 to July 2020 was 10,851 square kilometers. This is the most since 2006.

Between August 2020 and July this year, deforestation increased by almost 22 percent compared to the previous year. The data was released on Thursday by the National Space Research Institute (INPE) in Brazil.

“These numbers are a challenge for us, we will have to be more decisive in the face of environmental crime,” said Brazilian Environment Minister Joaquim Leite at a press conference. However, he stressed that these figures “do not accurately reflect the reality of recent months”.

Amazon deforestation. Government position

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The Brazilian government takes the view that it has stepped up its efforts to combat illegal deforestation through an increased military presence on the ground. At the recent COP26 climate summit, Brazil pledged to advance by two years, from 2030 to 2028, the deadline for eradicating illegal deforestation in the Amazon.

The BBC notes that deforestation in the Amazon has increased during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, who supports agricultural and mining activities in the rainforest. Environmentalists accuse him of the lack of effective measures prohibiting the illegal occupation of forests.

This week, Bolsonaro spoke of “unfair” attacks on Brazil over deforestation. “We want people to know the truth about Brazil,” he said, adding that 90 percent of the forests are still preserved.

Why is the Amazon so important

The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, with around 60% of it. is located in the territory of Brazil. Its conservation is crucial to contain catastrophic climate change, due to the huge amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the forest. But when trees are killed or burned, they release carbon back into the environment.

Also read: Report: Part of the Amazon rainforest will collapse in a few decades

Rainforest degradation in the worldMaciej Zieliński / PAP

PAP, BBC News, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: meteo

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