According to official satellite data, the number of trees chopped down in the Brazilian Amazon in January greatly outnumbered the number of trees deforested in the same month the previous year.
The overall amount of land destroyed in January was five times that of 2021, making it the most since records began in 2015, according to BBC.
Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, has been accused by environmentalists of enabling deforestation to grow faster. If we want to combat climate change, we need to protect the Amazon.
(Photo : Getty Images)
Trees are cut down for their timber and make room for crops to be grown to feed the world’s food corporations.
More than 100 states pledged to limit and reverse deforestation by 2030 at the COP26 climate change meeting in Glasgow last year.
According to environmentalists, the latest satellite data from Brazil’s space agency Inpe puts into doubt the government’s commitment to safeguarding the country’s vast jungle.
Greenpeace Brazil‘s Cristiane Mazzetti adds, “The new data once again shows how the government’s actions contradict their greenwashing initiatives.” Greenpeace is urging supermarkets in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world to remove suppliers complicit in deforestation from their meat and dairy supply chains.
Related Article: Amazon is Currently Experiencing the Worst Deforestation in 15 Years!
Seven Times the Size of Manhattan
In January, deforestation covered an area of 430 square kilometers (166 square miles), which is more than seven times the size of Manhattan.
It’s rare for loggers to cut down many trees at the start of the year because the wet season usually prevents them from getting into deep forests.
The immense Brazilian rainforest acts as a carbon sink, absorbing large amounts of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. However, the forest’s ability to absorb pollutants decreases as more trees are chopped down.
On the other hand, communities in the vicinity claim that to survive, they must exploit the forest for mining and commercial farming.
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Simultaneously, Amazonian indigenous peoples battle to preserve the jungle and their traditional ways of life.
Mr. Bolsonaro has eroded the region’s safeguards and claimed that the government should exploit the territory to alleviate poverty.
This degree of deforestation is a result of a lot of reasons.
Some of these unlawful clearances are fueled by strong worldwide demand for agricultural commodities like cattle and soya beans and the hope that new legislation in Brazil would soon be implemented to legitimize and pardon land theft.
According to the Brazilian government, total deforestation was lower in the twelve months between August of last year and January of this year than a year earlier.
Given that President Bolsonaro has severely eroded legal safeguards since taking office in 2019, environmentalists say they are not shocked by the record.
Mr. Bolsonaro was one of the world leaders who vowed to stop and reverse deforestation by the end of this decade at the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow last year.
Despite the shift in tone, political watchers contend that the policies on the ground have remained the same.
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