São Paulo, Brazil, November 30 (AFP) According to official statistics released on Monday, the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has intensified again in the past year, reaching the worst level in 12 years. After the statistics were released, the Bolsonaro government was condemned unisonned.
According to the “watershed restoration plan” of Brazilian space agencies to analyze satellite imagery and track deforestation, in the 12 months to August, a total of 11,088 square kilometers of forest in the Brazilian rainforest, the world’s largest rainforest, were destroyed, which is equivalent to a larger area than Jamaica. Rainforest area decreased by 9.5% compared with the previous year. Deforestation in the past year also reached the worst level in more than a decade.
“Because of this deforestation, Brazil may be the only major country to increase greenhouse gas emissions in the year when the coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed the global economy,” said the Climate Observatory, a coalition of environmental organizations.
Forests like the Amazon rainforest play a vital role in controlling climate change, because forests can absorb carbon in the atmosphere. However, when trees die or burn down, carbon will be re-released to the environment.
The Bolsonaro government has been strongly advocated the opening of protected areas to mining and agribusinesses, and has significantly reduced funding for environmental protection projects. Given that 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil, environmentalists say these policies have exacerbated the destruction of Amazon forests.
Christiana Mazetti, spokesman of Greenpeace, said in a statement: “The Amazonian rainforest development concept of the Bolsonaro government is a step back to the rampant deforestation of the past. That’s a big departure from the retrogression of what must be done to deal with the climate crisis.”