New Data Shows Amazon Deforestation Rate Largest Since 2008

by Katie Nelson

November 18, 2019

São Paulo, November 18 – According to data from PRODES (Satellite Deforestation Monitoring Project in the Legal Amazon) released today by INPE (Space Research Institute), Amazon deforestation reached 9,762 km² between August 2018 and July 2019. The number represents an increase of 30 percent over the previous period and is the highest rate recorded since 2008.

Key findings from the data include:

  • The deforestation rate has increased 30 percent, reaching almost 10,000 km²
  •   The size of the destruction is equivalent to 1.4 million soccer fields

“We are reaping what the Brazilian government has sowed since Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign. President Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental agenda has scrapped Brazil’s ability to fight deforestation, favors those who practice environmental crimes, and encourages violence against forest peoples. Bolsonaro’s administration is trashing practically all the work that has been done in recent decades to protect the environment,” said Cristiane Mazzetti, Greenpeace’s Amazon Campaigner.

The destruction is only increasing. The newly released numbers do not include the months of August, September, and October of this year; according to data from INPE, deforestation warnings doubled in comparison to the same time period in 2018. 

“Even in the face of an alarming scenario for the Amazon, with increased fires, deforestation, invasions of protected areas, and violence against Indigenous Peoples, the government hasn’t presented any consistent policy to protect the forest and its peoples; on the contrary, the government is taking the side of environmental crime,” said Mazzetti. 

Civil society outside of Brazil has also called out the role of International Markets in deforestation. 

“The fate of the Amazon is not just decided in Brazil, but also in the U.S. where businesses like Burger King and Blackrock are willing to partner with — and enable — the Bolsonaro government’s anti-environmental agenda and cash out the forests for profit,” said Daniel Brindis, Forests Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA.

“We need to immediately reverse the ongoing environmental destruction and demand an effective plan to combat deforestation. Companies that buy products such as soy and cattle from Brazil must also take a stand against Bolsonaro’s disastrous anti-environmental policy and accelerate their efforts to remove deforestation from their supply chains altogether.


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

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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