An area from INPE satellites indicates that 3,750 square kilometers (1,448 square miles) of the world’s largest rain forest was lost in Brazil between January 1 and June 24, the most significant area since the 2016 facility we started this kind of monitoring.
INPE satellites have been recording new monthly logging records since the beginning of the year and re-recorded 2,562 fire records in the state of Amazon last month.
May and June usually mark the beginning of a significant year of burning and deforestation in the Amazon due to the dry season.
In May, INPE found 2,287 fires in the rainforest, the highest number for that month since 2004.
Deforestation of the world’s largest forest since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 also weakens environmental protection, undermining economic development that could reduce poverty in the Amazon region.
Although the President has passed several directives and regulations to protect the rainforest, he has limited funding for government programs for environmental protection and monitoring. He has also pushed for opening traditional lands for commercial farming and mining.
In October 2021, weather lawyers called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Bolsonaro’s alleged attack on the Amazon, which they said was “a crime against humanity.”
But the Brazilian President has backed down international critics who want better rainforest protection.
In early May, Bolsonaro lashed out at Leonardo DiCaprio, saying it would be better for the actor to “shut up” after talking about the natural significance of Amazon.
Some scientists predict deforestation will continue to intensify ahead of Brazil’s presidential election in October, as it did just before the last three elections.