The deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon forest almost doubled last year. As reported by the state climate institute Inpe, almost 9,166 square kilometers of forest were cut down in 2019. In 2018, there were still about 4,946 square kilometers. This corresponds to an increase of 85 percent. Most recently, 183 percent more forest was felled in December than in the same month of the previous year.
This is preliminary data from Inpe's satellite surveillance. According to the experts, the deeper analysis of the data to be made later is likely to deliver an even higher value. Because while the so-called real time monitoring only larger clearings the more in-depth analysis also discovers smaller ones.
In the past few months, the government of President Jair Messias has criticized Bolsonaro Inpe several times for the high numbers. After measuring 278 percent growth in July and 222 percent in August compared to the previous year, Bolsonaro dismissed the director of the institute, Ricardo Galvao. He had published excessive numbers to harm Bolsonaro, it said. However, the numbers later turned out to be correct.
Bolsonaro was on the increasing deforestation and the devastating forest fires on Amazon in August responded by sending thousands of soldiers to the region. The fires and deforestation then decreased again. However, after the soldiers were withdrawn at the end of October, deforestation increased again.
Jair Bolsonaro took office on January 1, 2019. The head of state questions the man-made climate change. Bolsonaro has initiated a series of steps that will advance the advancement of the Brazil very powerful agriculture allowed in the forest and species-rich Amazon region. Given the devastating fires in the Brazilian rainforest, environmentalists had accused him of creating a political climate in which farmers felt encouraged to do more deforestation and slash-and-burn. The head of state had repeatedly made it clear that he primarily linked the Amazon region to untapped economic potential.