In the first half of 2022, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon eclipsed all previous records, signaling more damage under Jair Bolsonaro’s leadership.
AP — RIO DE JANEIRO As a sign of the growing destruction occurring under Jair Bolsonaro’s leadership, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon during the first half of 2022 shattered all records.
4,000 square kilometers (1,500 square miles) of forest were destroyed between January and June, more than in any other six-month period over the previous seven years of record-keeping using the current approach. Its size is equivalent to four times that of New York City.
The fact that the forest cutting is occurring during the rainy season makes the statistic all the more astounding. Since it is simpler to reach remote locations on the region’s unpaved roads during the dry second half of the year, deforestation has historically been higher during this time.
In October, Brazil will also host presidential elections, which usually result in a reduction in law enforcement in the Amazon. For an additional four-year term, Bolsonaro will run. He is now in last place in the polls after former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
According to research from the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, or IPAM, a Brazilian organization, the area destroyed in the first half of 2022 is 80% larger than the same period in 2018, the year before Bolsonaro took office.
According to the IPAM investigation, over half of the cutting took place on public grounds. Criminals frequently rob public lands in Brazil with the expectation that they would one day be made available for farming or livestock ranching.
Ane Alencar, IPAM’s science director, claims that further unlawful real estate and wood transactions as well as a lack of enforcement are factors in the rising deforestation rates.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Alencar stated that “those in charge of the Amazon don’t want it conserved.” “In the modern Amazon, the standing forest has little value.”
The state of Amazonas saw the most ruthless logging, surpassing Mato Grosso and Para, which historically see greater tree loss. Given that Amazonas is buried in the jungle and has remained pristine in comparison to other Amazon regions, this is a concerning trend.
Several private foundations fund the climate and environmental reporting for the Associated Press. Here is additional information on the AP’s climate program. All content is the exclusive responsibility of the AP.
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