Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon reaches record high in May

Rio de Janeiro, Jun 11 (EFE).- Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose for the third consecutive month in May, government data showed Friday.

The report revealed that deforestation increased by 67% in May compared to the same period last year, and that 24 trees are cut every second in Brazil.

During the first five months of the year, deforestation increased by 25% compared to last year. This adds up to 2,548 square kilometres, three times the size of New York City.

99.8% of that deforestation was illegal, according to a study released by the Climate Observatory.

The extent of destroyed forest in the whole of Brazil – 13.6% higher than in 2019 – was calculated with MapBiomas Alerta, a tool developed by experts that processes and combines deforestation data collected with satellite images.

The tool calculated the devastation in the six major Brazilian ecosystems: the Amazon, the Pantanal, the Atlantic Forest, the Cerrado (Savannah), the Caatinga and the Pampas.

61% of vegetation destroyed in Brazil belonged to the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world.

“Unfortunately, deforestation is increasing in all ecosystems and the degree of illegality remains very high,” co-ordinator of MapBiomas Alerta, Tasso Azevedo, said in a statement.

Deforestation across Brazil has increased since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and he is yet to follow through on his pledge to boost funding to protect the environment. EFE


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