Environmentalists fear 2019 will be one of worst years for deforestation in recent memory.
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon surged last month to the highest May level since the current monitoring method began, prompting concerns that president Jair Bolsonaro
is giving a free pass to illegal logging, farming and mining.
The world’s greatest rainforest – which is a vital provider of oxygen and carbon sequestration – lost 739sq km during the 31 days, equivalent to two football pitches every minute, according to data
from the government’s satellite monitoring agency. (...)
“The spike in deforestation is depressing, but hardly surprising: you have a government in Brazil who is dismantling nearly every environmental policy put in place since 1992 and who is harassing federal environmental agents, thus empowering environmental criminals.” (...)
Other factors might have contributed to the increase. The first few months of this year were cloudy and rainy, which made satellite monitoring more difficult, so some areas might have been missed by earlier sweeps. (...)
Another factor is an expansion of infrastructure projects, including roads and hydroelectric plants. The Brazilian state that suffered the greatest deforestation last month was Pará, which is home to the BR163 road through the Amazon and the Belo Monte dam.Full article
Inspectors walk through an area affected by illegal mining in Pará state in Brazil’s Amazon basin. The rainforest lost 739sq km during the 31 days of May Photograph: Vinicius Mendonca/AP.
Environmentalists fear 2019 will be one of worst years for deforestation in recent memorywww.theguardian.com