(ORDO NEWS) — The number of trees cut in the Brazilian part of the Amazon rainforest in January was five times more than in the same period last year, a new report shows.
Satellite data shows deforestation has skyrocketed under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
About 430 square kilometers of the Amazon rainforest were cleared last month, up 418 percent from January 2021, according to satellite imagery from the Brazilian research agency INPE.
This area is comparable to the area of the island state of Barbados or the city of Yekaterinburg.
The record high comes just months after the COP26 climate talks, in which more than 100 countries, including Brazil, agreed to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
“Even in January, when deforestation is usually less due to the rainy season in the Amazon region, destruction has increased dramatically ,” said Cristian Mazzetti, spokesperson for Greenpeace Brazil.
Tropical deforestation wreaks havoc on the many species that make the complex ecosystem their home. It also affects climate change.
Greenpeace has linked the dramatic increase in Amazonian deforestation to Jair Bolsonaro’s assumption of Brazil’s presidency in 2019.
Last year, the politician promised to double the government’s spending on forest conservation, but later changed his mind and cut the budget by more than 20%.
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