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Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon breaks all records this year for the first time in April 2022. Similar records were hit during January and February, creating a massive state of destruction within the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Satellite data indicated the deforestation rate to be over 1,000 square kilometers (about 400 square miles)- the highest figure recorded in several years.
Deforestation in the forest saw a 74 percent increase as compared to the same month last year in 2021. The new record marked the highest deforestation during a month of the rainy season- the monsoon in the Amazon forest runs from December to April.
The news about deforestation shocked environmentalists as traditionally, according to a senior public policy specialist at the Climate Observatory, the rainy season always witnesses less deforestation. The above data was received from a Brazilian space agency’s Deter Monitoring System and correlated with the first 29 days of April. The Deter system earlier gathered data that showed about 430 square kilometers of deforestation in the month of January 2022. It reached 199 square kilometers in February, a 62 percent increase from the year 2021.
The Amazon forest has witnessed much more deforestation than the Para and Mato Grosso states. This situation is deeply worrying as the forest is more remote and has more natural and lush ecosystems.
According to Marcio Astrini, the leader of the Brazilian Environmental Group, the cause of the highest record in deforestation has a name: Jair Messias Bolsonaro. Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, has promised to construct a 250-mile stretch of the BR-319 highway in the southern part of the state, where most of the deforestation activities are concentrated.
Jair Bolsonaro has come under fire several times from the global community because of his destructive environmental policies and rules- they significantly affect environmental protection regulations and indigenous rights.
Brazil is home to the Amazon forest and other habitats essential in the fight against climate change. The forest is popularly known as the lungs of the Earth- the activities there affect the entire world. Ane Alencar, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute science director, stated that deforestation is likely to increase until the elections in Brazil (October 2022). According to her, it seems that the destruction of forests has become institutionalized in Brazil as deforestation reaches a new record every year.