Brazilian Rainforest Continues to Disappear at a Rapid Pace

In the month of October, 877 square kilometres of Amazon forest in Brazil disappeared, five percent more than in October last year.


This is shown by the most recent satellite data from the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE). The new data contrasts sharply with Brazil’s recent promises.

So deforestation under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continues, despite his promise in April, to curb illegal deforestation in his country and end it completely by 2030. Last week, Brazil also joined a global alliance at the climate conference in Glasgow to end deforestation by 2030.

Little or nothing has changed on the site in the meantime. However, the 877 square kilometres is the highest number for an October month since the current method of detailed satellite data was established in 2015.

In fact, last May, more than 1,000 square kilometres were lost, 1,180 to be exact. May is the start of the dry season, in which deforestation is always a bit higher. So the annual figure may rise for the fourth year in a row.

Climate sceptic Bolsonaro has encouraged “economic exploitation” in the forest since taking office in 2019, opening the door for even more illegal logging to make way for agricultural projects or mining.

So it remains to be seen whether the promise in Glasgow will affect the short term. The Brazilian Amazon forest is also called one of the earth’s lungs and is important for the natural storage of the greenhouse gas CO₂. At the moment, however, parts of the forest emit more CO₂ than they absorb.

Leave comment