Deforestation in the Amazon: An Announced Tragedy

Devastation is expected to be much greater than seen in 2019; fires will harm Covid victims

Deforestation in the Amazon will be much higher than in 2019. Projections, based on data from the last four years, show that the rate is expected to be between 12,000 km2 and 16,000 km2, configuring an escalation increased destruction of the largest tropical forest on the planet comparable only to the worst moments in its history.

It will be the consolidation of the end of the long period of reductions in the loss of forest cover obtained with the implementation of the Deforestation Prevention and Control Plan for the Amazon, launched in 2004.

Porto Velho, Rondônia. (Foto: André Cran/Folhapress) - Folhapress

To arrive at the figures above, the data computed by Deter, the Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) system for monitoring the forest in real-time, were analyzed. They show that at the end of last April, the accumulated deforestation from August 2019, which will compose at the rate of 2020, reached 5,666.10 km2. This number is 94.4% above that recorded in April 2019 and 83.7% above the average of the last four years for this month.

This rate, which is excessively high for this period of the year, will be strongly pressured by two factors. The first is that the monthly deforestation measured by Deter was much higher than that observed in all months of the previous year and higher than the average for those months in the last four years.

The second factor, even more worrying, is that we are entering the dry season in the Amazon, which runs until October, depending on the climatic variations of each year. As has been the case since Prodes was implemented in 1988, the next few months will register an accelerated increase in deforestation and fires, facilitated by the reduction of rains that hinder operations in the field.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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