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Focus of Controversy, Jamanxim in Pará State, Suffers Increasing Deforestation

06/20/2018 - 11h16



Focus of pressure from 'grileiros' (land seizers and possessors) and the congressional rural caucus who aim to get its area reduced, the Jamanxim National Forest (Flona) has registered more than twice as much deforestation in two months than the total area deforested during all of 2017.

The Forest lost 57 km2 (22 m2) of vegetation coverage between April and May of this year (the most recent months where complete records are available), according to the NGO Imazon, based on satellite imagery. The destruction is equivalent to the area of 36 Ibirapuera Parks in São Paulo

Last year, Jamanxim had registered a decrease in deforestation of 65.6% compared to 2016. ICMBio has admitted that deforestation is back on the increase.

Avener Prado/Folhapress
The Jamanxim National Forest
The Jamanxim National Forest

Located in the southwestern part of the State of Pará, an area adjacent to the BR-163 highway, a transit expressway for soybeans in route from the State of Mato Grosso, Jamanxim is the second most-highly deforested conservation unit, after only the Trifunfo do Xingu Environmental Protection Area (APA), which has lost 123 km2 (47.5 m2) since August of 2017.

Flona has been the focus of intense controversy since the end of 2016, when the Michel Temer (MDB Party) Government issued provisional legislation reducing its size, legalizing land seizers and possessors. In Congress, the reduction was amplified further. Under pressure, the Planalto (Presidential) Palace vetoed the modification and sent back a new legislative bill with a smaller reduction, corresponding to 27% of the area.

Jamanxim Forest has already lost 12,4% of its total vegetation coverage, the majority of it having been converted into grazing land for livestock.

The Jamanxim Forest Preserve was created in 2006, under the Lula Government, to mitigate the impact of the paving of the BR-163 highway. Its demarcation limits included areas under the control of land seizers and possessors, which set off a long process of negotiations.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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