Fires in Brazil’s Amazon increase by 7.9% in July
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 1 (EFE).- Fires in the Brazilian Amazon increased by 7.9% in July compared to the same period last year, Brazil’s government reported on Monday.
Last month, 5,373 forest fires were recorded compared to 4,977 in July 2021, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) satellite data showed.
According to INPE, fires in Brazil’s Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, have increased by 13% so far this year compared to the previous year.
The jump comes after forest fires decreased by nearly 40% in 2021 compared to 2020, when fires hit a record amid worsening deforestation.
The environmental watchdog Greenpeace said the majority of the fires were human-caused and illegal and warned that they will only increase throughout the summer.
“All this destruction and fire, in addition to decimating the forest and its rich biodiversity, also affects the health of the local population due to the smoke and soot it generates,” said Greenpeace Brazil’s spokesman for the Amazon, Romulo Batista.
Environmentalists blame the situation on a lack of checks and supervision by Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing populist government, which has undermined climate protection efforts in favor of industrial exploitation of the Amazon’s natural resources, including protected indigenous reserves, where such activities are illegal.
Since the far-right leader came to power on January 1, 2019, deforestation rates have surged by 73% to reach 13,038 square kilometers in 2021. EFE