By Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock

Brazil Announces Worst RainForest Losses To Agriculture

by | November 26, 2018

The worst rainforest losses have been recorded this decade in Brazil according to preliminary reports, with the equivalent of nine hundred and eighty-seven thousand football pitches being deforested for agriculture. 

A figure that is expected to increase as the new president Jair Bolsanaro takes over, who is a self admitted anti-environmentalist. 

“It is a lot of destroyed forest,” said Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brasil’s public policy coordinator to the Guardian. “The situation is very worrying… what is bad will get worse.”

The environment ministry said the increase came despite an increase in its budget and in operations carried out by its environment agency Ibama.

“We need to increase the mobilisation at all levels of government, of society, and of the productive sector to combat illicit environmental activities,” environment minister Edson Duarte said in a statement.

rainforest losses
By Rich Carey/shutterstock

Rainforest Losses at Tipping Point

Experts are fearful, that the losses of the Amazon rainforest are coming to a head, that the rainforest losses now will mean that it will disappear forever. 

“A moment will arrive in which the accumulation of this deforestation will cause an effect in which the forest will stop being a forest,” Astrini said. “The scientists calculate this is between 20-30%. We are very close to the 20%.”

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Bolsonaro, who gets a lot of support from the minister of agriculture has expressed his desire to allow more mining and deforestation in the Amazon. Even though the Climate Observatory has said that nearly half of the greenhouse gas in Brazil comes directly from the rainforest losses. 

It’s a long line of attacks on the Amazon rainforest, as the supreme court upheld changes to the laws that protect it earlier this year, including the amount logger have to pay in fines for illegal deforestation. 

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Emma Williams

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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