deforestation in the Amazon rose by 93% between January and September

During the first nine months, 7,853 km² were deforested, against 4,075 km² over the same period in 2018. This recrudescence is explained by the pressure exerted on the forest.

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Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rose 93 percent in the first nine months of 2019, compared with the same period last year, according to official figures released Friday (October 11th).

In total, 7,853 km2 have been deforested, well above 4,075 km2 recorded between January and September 2018, according to the National Institute of Space Research (INPE). Over the whole of 2018, deforestation had affected 4,947 km2. In the month of September alone, 1,447 km2 were deforested, an increase of 96% compared to September of last year. In August, 1,700 km2 forest are gone.

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The figures for deforestation were at the beginning of 2019 in the average of the last years, until a significant increase from June. Experts say deforestation could reach 10,000 km2 in 2019, a first since 2008.

For environmental advocates and specialists in the Amazon, this upsurge is due to the pressure exerted on the forest by loggers and livestock farmers, encouraged by the positions of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro who advocates the exploitation of natural resources in protected areas.

A recrudescence of fires

The explosion of fires in the Amazon in August sparked a wave of criticism from the international community against President Bolsonaro and the Brazilian government's environmental policy.

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According to the latest INPE satellite data, there were as many fires in the Amazon between January and September (66,750) as in 2018 (68,345). In the first nine months of 2019, the number of fires in the world's largest rainforest rose by 41% compared to the same period last year.

Under pressure, President Bolsonaro finally authorized the end of August the sending of the army in the Amazon states to fight against fires. The measure has been extended until 24 October.

Deforestation generally increases in Brazil during the dry season, which lasts from May to September, and until November in some regions.


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