Over the past year, deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 22 percent. The figure is taken from a new report by the Brazilian Institute for Space Research, INPE.
A total of 13,235 square kilometers were lost during the period 2020-2021. This is the highest number since 2006, writes BBC.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. About 3 million species of plants and animals live here, and 1 million are indigenous. Rainforests are an important store of carbon, slowing the pace of global warming.
The numbers worry the Rainforest. Secretary-General Torres Jaeger remains unsurprised.
It is not surprising that the numbers are higher, but it is surprising that they are much higher.
He is particularly concerned about the increase in deforestation in new areas.
According to their partners in Brazil, deforestation has also increased in previously undetected areas.
– That makes us very anxious, says Jæger.
Promised to end deforestation during climate summit
These figures come less than a week after the end of the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow.
Here, Brazil was one of several countries that signed comprehensive agreement to end deforestation by 2030.
According to the BBC, the new numbers were ready on October 27, just under a week before the agreement. It may appear that the information is back after the climate summit, the British broadcaster writes.
The Rainforest Fund is reacting to the fact that the numbers were not provided earlier. Jæger believes that the Brazilian authorities have a credibility problem.
Weak willingness to do something about massive deforestation. The Brazilian government is now clearly showing that it does not want to reduce deforestation. This is the will that you represent. If they had wished, says Jæger, they would have had the tools they needed.
He thinks the president should take responsibility
The Rainforest Fund believes that the president of Brazil bears great responsibility for the increase in deforestation.
Among other things, Jæger says, Jair Bolsonaro encouraged rainforest farming and mining.
Bolsonaro has also been in conflict with his own space research institute, INPE, which monitors deforestation in the Amazon. In 2019, he accused them of denigrating Brazil.
Today, Brazilian Environment Minister Joachim Leit said the new numbers are a challenge. He also believes that this indicates that strict action must be taken against this type of crime.
He also says the data does not show the full picture of how it has evolved in recent months, according to the BBC.
Focus on indigenous peoples
Economic interests are driving deforestation. Rainforests are being cleared to grow soybeans, engage in ranching and mining, Jæger says.
– This happens because it is a deliberate policy where the authorities do not interfere. Thus, they allow large-scale deforestation.
He believes that the best way to take care of the rainforest is to allow indigenous peoples and local people to manage their areas. Jæger believes it is important to contribute to making them stronger in the fight against deforestation. One way is to help them work on preparing rainforest management plans.
This work can continue regardless of policy. There is still hope and opportunity to work constructively.
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