The Brazilian Amazon lost 1,180 square kilometers of jungle in May, an increase of 41% over the same period last year and a record for this month, according to data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) of Brazil.
Deforestation until May 28, the third consecutive month of records monthly, once again calls into question the promises of the government of Jair Bolsonaro to reduce these rates.
“The data is worrying, because the month of May marks the beginning of the dry season, when the devastation intensifies in much of the Amazon region,” warned the NGO network Observatorio do Clima, very critical of the government’s environmental management .
Official data have been collected by the INPE satellite observation system since 2015.
Deforestation in April had been 580 km2, also a record for that month.
From January to May 28 of this year, the felling of trees for sawmills and agricultural activities reached 2,337 km2 in the Amazon. This represents an increase of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2020.
The Brazilian Amazon suffered violent forest fires last year. Photo. AFP
Bolsonaro, who since he came to power in 2019 promoted the commercial opening of the Amazon and denounced environmental NGOs as a “cancer”, recently pledged to “eliminate illegal deforestation in Brazil by 2030”, ten years ahead of schedule. initially.
Promises at the Climate Summit
The ultra-right president, who denies the existence of climate change caused by human action, he made that promise at the Climate Summit organized in April by US President Joe Biden.
But environmentalists assure that their government is ignorant and that it is even sabotaging The environmental protection.
Bolsonaro’s government “has been dedicated for two and a half years to dismantle policies to control deforestation,” denounced the Climate Observatory.
“The inspection tasks of (control body) Ibama were handcuffed” and the management of the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, “virtually paralyzed the operations of the body, whose leadership has just been removed from office on suspicion of operating in favor of loggers, “added the NGO.
An aerial photo of the rainforest in Brazil’s Amazonas state shows deforestation. Photo: AFP
Salles and other members of his portfolio are being investigated in court for their alleged involvement in an illegal timber export scheme, for allegedly facilitating the irregular sale to Europe and the United States.
From January to May 28 of this year, the felling of trees for sawmills and agricultural activities reached 2,337 km2 in the Amazon.
If the upward trend continues in the next two months, deforestation in 2021 (measured between August 2020 and July 2021) “may end with an unprecedented increase for the fourth consecutive year,” the Observatory warned.
In the reference period August-July, successive records for three years, with 9,216 km2 deforested between August 2019 and July 2020 (+ 34% compared to the previous 12 months), an area greater than that of Puerto Rico.
Source: AFP and EFE