Amazon deforestation hits second highest rate ever recorded in August

September 9, 2022

"Time is of the essence for the Amazon and its people.”

São Paulo, BrazilAccording to new data from Brazilian Space Agency’s Program DETER (INPE), the month of August recorded 1,661 km2 of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, representing the second highest rate of deforestation ever recorded for the month of August since the INPE started publishing the data. Only 2019, also under Bolsonaro’s government, had a higher deforestation rate. 

This represents an 81 percent increase in deforestation in the Amazon for August compared to the same period last year. On average, the deforestation rate in the Amazon increased by 52 percent during the years Bolsonaro has been in power.  

Cristiane Mazzetti, Senior Amazon Campaigner for Greenpeace Brazil, said: “Deforestation in the Amazon has skyrocketed in recent years, as the current government enabled illegal activities and emboldened criminals. Although expected, the destruction we are seeing in recent months is very concerning. Just in the seven first days of September, the number of fires registered in the Amazon have surpassed the entire month of September last year. We are going back to an old fashioned past, to a project that is based on death and destruction that must be stopped and reverted immediately.”

The dismantling of environmental policies and slashing of environmental agencies’ budgets has pushed Amazon deforestation to extreme levels. According to The Indigenist Missionary Council’s (CIMI) annual report, in 2021, there were three times more invasions of Indigenous lands compared to 2018, and 176 Indigenous Peoples were murdered last year. 

Diana Ruiz, Forests Campaign Head at Greenpeace USA, said: “The ignition switch has been set on the world’s largest rainforest — nearly 17,000 fires were recorded in the first week of September. These surges are no accident — these fires are a clear indicator that intentional deforestation is underway. Time is of the essence for the Amazon and its people.” 



Photos and videos of Amazonian fires are available in the Greenpeace Media Library.


Katie Nelson, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, [email protected], +1 (678) 644-1681

Greenpeace Brazil Press Center, [email protected], +55 92 9480-3580

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