A new data reveals higher than expected deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon this year; increases pressure on Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s Govt.
Brazilian government data show deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has reached its highest level in over 15 years, increasing by 22 percent in the past year. At the recent U.N. climate summit, Brazil pledged to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.
Meanwhile in Ecuador, a historic hearing was held this week in the Amazonian jungle, over a plan to expand mining in the region, which Indigenous communities oppose and say can not go ahead without free and informed consent. This is Waorani activist and 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize winner Nemonte Nenquimo.
Evidence that Brazil sat on the data for three weeks before announcing it also drew outrage from non-governmental organizations. Brazil’s environment minister, Joaquim Pereira Leite, told reporters that he only gained access to the data on Thursday when it was announced. He called the data “unacceptable” and vowed more forceful action to fight deforestation.
Preliminary data released earlier in the year had indicated deforestation might decline slightly, but the more accurate final data showed a 22% increase. The Amazon’s trees absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide that would otherwise warm the planet.