Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon at Highest Level in 15 Years

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The deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is at the highest level since 2006, BBC reported.

Deforestation in the rainforest soared 22% in the past year according to the government’s annual report, which was obtained by The Guardian. The report, released Thursday, showed satellite images of an area nearly 17 times the size of New York City that has been lost.

The figures undercut Brazil’s controversial President Jair Bolsonaro’s assurances that the South American nation is curbing illegal logging, The Guardian reported. Deforestation of the rainforest has increased during Bolsonaro’s reign, according to CNBC. The Guardian reported that Bolsonaro called for more mining and commercial agriculture in Amazonian protected areas.

Overall, 13.235 km or approximately 8,224 sq miles were lost compared to the 14,286 km deforested during 2006. CNBC reported.

Joaquim Leite, Environment Minister, stated in a BBC statement that the data represent a “challenge.”

“We have to be more forceful in relation to these crimes,” he said, adding the data “does not exactly reflect the situation in the last few months.” The data covers a period from August 2020 through to July 2021.

During the COP26 climate summit, which took place in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this month, Brazil was among the countries that had recently pledged to end deforestation and reverse it by 2030.

Amazon rainforest is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million Indigenous people, and is also a vital carbon source that ebbs the pace of global warming, BBC reported.

A portion of the Amazon was cleared to make a stadium for Brazil’s 2010 World Cup. In 2019, Business Insider According to reports, the $300 million stadium used for just a handful games in Manaus during the World Cup is now abandoned. Business Insider reported Manaus, which is in the middle Amazon, is very difficult to travel to.