São Paulo, 23 November 2018 – Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased by 13.7% between August 2017 and July 2018, according to the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), responsible for monitoring the vegetation of the biggest rainforest on the planet. Even with the increase in the number of assessments and seizures in the same period, in the last year, Brazil lost a total area of 7,900sq kms, equivalent to 1.185 billion trees, approximately, considering 1500 trees per hectare. It also represents to 987,500 football pitches or 5.2 times the size of the city of São Paulo.

Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brazil’s public policy coordinator, comments:

“The numbers of the destruction, that were already high and unacceptable, got even worse. Most of the answers that explain this increase are political. It’s from the center of the Brazilian power that comes the constant stimulus to the environmental crime in the Amazon”

The agribusiness lobby in Congress (known as bancada ruralista) is presenting a series of proposals that will have a direct impact on the protection of forests, its people and the climate of the planet. Some of them include weakening the environmental licensing process, reducing protected áreas and attacking indigenous rights and stopping their land demarcations.

These proposals benefit those who want to destroy the forest and are now translated in the increase of the deforestation in the Amazon. If nothing is made to stop deforestation, Brazil’s contribution to the Paris Agreement is at risk.

“On what concerns Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s newly elected president, the forecast for the Amazon and the climate are not good. Measures that historically helped to refrain deforestation are at stake: he plans to undermine the power of Brazil’s environmental inspection agency, aims to liberate the exploitation of Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units and, if put in practice, this measures could lead to an explosion of violence in the field and endanger the planet’s climate hope,” Astrini said.

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