Mumbai: Almost 10,000 sq km lost in the year to August, according to Brazilian government data.
The new numbers, showing almost 10,000 sq km were lost in the year to August, were released as emboldened farm owners scuffled with forest defenders in Altamira, the Amazonian city at the heart of the recent devastation.
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has hit the highest annual level in a decade, according to new government data which highlights the impact the president, Jair Bolsonaro, has made on the world’s biggest rainforest.
About 9,762 square kilometres (3,769 square miles) of rainforest were lost for the 12 months through July 2019, according to the release from The National Institute for Space Research (INPE). That’s a 29.5% increase over the previous 12 months and is the highest rate of loss since 2008, INPE said.
Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and is an important carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. The annual data published by the space research agency Monday confirms the institute’s earlier reports that deforestation was on the rise. The latest data is actually 42 per cent higher than what was previously reported.
In July and August this year, fires in the Amazon region spread at a pace unseen since 2010, before slowing in September.
The Brazilian space research agency will meet Wednesday to discuss strategies to combat deforestation in the Amazon. The number of fires detected by satellites in the region is the highest it’s been since 2008.