In 18 Years, the Amazon Lost an Area Larger than The State of São Paulo, Points Out IBGE

Brazilian biomes suffered an area reduction of almost 500 thousand square kilometers between 2000 and 2018

Rio de Janeiro

The Amazon lost an area equivalent to 270 thousand km² between the years 2000 and 2018. In the period, the largest tropical forest on the planet saw 8% of its coverage disappear, replaced mainly by pasture areas.

For comparison, the size of the Amazon's territorial loss represents, in absolute terms, the disappearance of a space larger than the entire state of São Paulo, which has an area of around 248 thousand km².

CLAUDIA, MATO GROSSO STATE, BRAZIL: AUGUST 2020:Members of the rural settlement 12 de Outubro in the city of Cláudia in the state of Mato Grosso try to put out the fire from an illegal burning in an Environmental Reserve area in the Amazon rainforest. Fire season in the Amazon biome during an expedition by the Rainforest Foundation to monitor the relationship between soy production in Brazil and its relationship with the deforestation of the Cerrado and Amazonia biomes. CREDIT: Victor Moriyama for Rainforest Foundation - Victor Moriyama for Rainforest F

The numbers are part of the Ecosystem Accounts: Land Use in Brazilian Biomes (2000-2018), from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), released on the morning of this Thursday (24).

The study showed that the reduction in Amazonian forest vegetation was the greatest among the natural coverings of Brazilian biomes in the analyzed period.

According to the IBGE, pasture areas increased by 71%, from 248,800 km² in 2000 to 426,400 km² in 2018, which showed a fragmentation of the region's landscape.

Inpe data had already shown that, currently, the Amazon continues to register an increase in fires. In July, the biome grew by 28% in the number of hot spots compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), the highest record since 2017 and, before that, since 2006.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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