Deforestation in the Amazon grew 183% in December, compared to the same month of 2018, according to data from Inpe's Deter (Real Time Deforestation Detection System).
Deter assists Ibama's actions in combating deforestation, but can also be used to analyze deforestation trends. Also, Deter data often underestimate consolidated annual deforestation data (Prodes).
According to Inpe data, deforestation growth (always compared to the same months of previous years) has been constant. Since May 2019, increases have been steep, except for October, which showed a lower growth of around 5%.
Growth over the previous year (2017/2018) was 29.5%, the most significant percentage growth in more than 20 years.
In the announcement of the data, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the growth was due to the "illegal economy" in the Amazon.
When asked about the issue, Salles said in a recent interview with Folha and UOL that zero illegal deforestation should not be achieved and that if the increase in deforestation next year is less than 29.5%, "will be an achievement."
Last week, the minister stated, without presenting details, that he would create an Amazon Secretariat in Manaus. The idea is to "materialize the presence of the Ministry of Environment [MMA] in the region."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon