Amazon deforestation in October second worst ever recorded
The states of Pará, Mato Grosso, and Amazonas lead the destruction rates for October 2021
by Katie Nelson
November 5, 2021
"In order to end the US complicity with forest and ecosystem destruction, the US needs legislation to reflect the ambition and responsibility needed to halt all deforestation and reverse the biodiversity and climate crisis our world is facing."
São Paulo, Brazil — Data released today from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) points to a deforested area of 796km² in the Amazon, the second worst October since the beginning of the historical series in 2016.  On average, there was an increase of 27 percent in the area with deforestation alerts for the month in the three years of Bolsonaro´s government (average of 729 km² in 2019, 2020 and 2021) compared to the average of the three previous years (average of 572km²).
In response, Rômulo Batista, spokesperson for the Amazon campaign at Greenpeace Brazil, said:
“While the eyes of the world are on the COP26, waiting for serious and decisive commitments for the future of the planets, Brazil, which was once a leader in these meetings, has presented nothing but empty plans that lack ambition and detail. Signing or endorsing the different plans and agreements does not change the reality of the forest floor, deforestation and fires remain out of control and violence against Indigenous peoples and traditional population is only increasing.”
Deforestation alerts in October were concentrated in the northern states of Pará, Mato Grosso, and Amazonas.  Estimates by the Climate Observatory indicate that a significant portion — 46 percent — of the greenhouse gases emitted by Brazil come from deforestation. Data from 2020 show that Brazil has continued to increase its emissions since 2010.
The biggest driver responsible for increasing the numbers in the country comes from clearing forests and using land for livestock and agriculture, which brought together deforestation in both the Amazon and Cerrado biomes. The sector was responsible for 998 million tons of CO2 in 2020, an increase of 24 percent compared to 2019.
The alerts for October come during the first week of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 26) where world leaders are presenting plans to take global climate action. In Brazil, a series of bills going through Congress will aggravate emissions. There are proposed changes to the law to end environmental licensing (Bill 3729/2004), to open Indigenous lands for exploitation (Bill 191/2020) and to make the demarcation still pending in many Indigenous territories unfeasible (Bill 490/2007), as well as the legalization of land grabbing on public lands (Bill 2633/2020).
In response to the new announcements, Greenpeace USA Senior Forests Campaigner, Diana Ruiz, said:
“While forests took center stage the first week of COP 26, US Climate Envoy John Kerry tossed it to the bleachers as he applauded Brazil’s efforts in spite of their Congress continuing to push through legislation to increase large-scale deforestation that would reward and legalize land-grabbing. John Kerry and world leaders at COP need to listen to Indigenous voices and stop propping up the greenwashing of corporations. In order to end the US complicity with forest and ecosystem destruction, the US needs legislation to reflect the ambition and responsibility needed to halt all deforestation and reverse the biodiversity and climate crisis our world is facing.”
 Deforestation figures released today do not yet include data from the last two days of the month.
 Pará 474km² (59.5% of the total), Mato Grosso 102km² (13% of the total) and Amazonas 90km² (11% of the total).
Katie Nelson, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected]
Karen Mota, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Brazil, +55 11 97252-6867, [email protected]