Latest deforestation data in Brazil show significant surge

11 Août, 2019, 02:55 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Bolsonaro was helped in his election last year by support from the powerful agriculture lobby

Germany said Saturday it would suspend Brazilian aid aimed at helping protect the Amazon forest in light of data that showed deforestation had surged since President Jair Bolsonaro took office.

The Bolsonaro government continued to attack Inpe's data.

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest increased by 278% in July 2019 compared with July 2018, resulting in the destruction of 870 square miles (2,253 square kilometers) of vegetation, new satellite data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show.

This is the biggest surge in deforestation rates since the institute adopted its current methodology in 2014.

The Amazon is vital to the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - a check on global warming.

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"They are trying to forcefully implement an agenda of deconstruction, of deregulation, with total disrespect for institutions, or science", Ribeiro added.

Brazil's government does not expect an worldwide boycott of Brazilian products due to increasing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest basin, presidential spokesman General Otavio Rego Barros said on Wednesday.

Bolsonaro (L) and his environment minister, Ricardo Salles, have focused energy in 2019 on weakening Brazilian environmental legislation. Bolsonaro also said he was working on a proposal to regularize illegal mining in protected areas.

During a recent public appearance, Bolsonaro joked that if the "absurd" deforestation numbers were true, "then I am Captain Chainsaw!"

Environmental campaign organization Greenpeace published a report in June, which said that Brazil had registered more than 1,200 pesticides for use in the country, including a number which are banned in the European Union.

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