Record-breaking deforestation registered in the Amazon ahead of presidential elections in Brazil

An area larger than Belgium was deforested in the Amazon in the past three years, according to PRODES

October 7, 2022

2022 has seen record-breaking numbers of fires and deforestation

MANAUS, BRAZIL (October 7, 2022) – According to alerts from the Brazilian Space Research Institute (INPE)’s system DETER, 1,455 km2 is the largest area of deforestation in the Amazon ever recorded for the month of September. 2022 has seen record-breaking numbers of fires and deforestation. The data shows an increase of 48% compared to the same month last year. From January to September 8,590 km2 of the Amazon was deforested this year, equivalent to 11 times the size of New York City. 

Cristiane Mazzetti, spokesperson for Greenpeace Brazil, said: “In recent years, the Bolsonaro government has shown a complete disregard for a safe climate and for the Amazon rainforest, Indigenous Peoples and traditional communities. His administration has actively promoted an anti-environment, anti-Indigenous, and anti-democratic agenda that has resulted in a severe increase in carbon emissions and that paints a grave scenario in Brazil. This destructive project cannot continue.” 

The current government’s actions have encouraged violence in the rainforest against both Indigenous Peoples and environmental defenders. According to a report published by NGO CIMI, 176 Indigenous People were murdered in 2021. Brazil also continues to be one of the most dangerous countries for environmentalists, according to a report by Global Witness.

Over 17% of the entire Amazon Basin has already been deforested, and this massive destruction is pushing the forest closer to a tipping point. If 20 to 25% of the Amazon is lost, it would fail as an ecosystem, according to research done by scientists Carlos Nobre and Thomas Lovejoy

Mazzetti said: “The current government has been causing irreversible damage to the environment in Brazil and is a threat to the climate globally. In only three weeks, Brazilians will go to the polls to choose our next president, and our choice will have a tremendous impact on the country, on the forest, and on the climate. Continuing the current agenda means accelerating the collapse of the Amazon instead of using the little time we have to avoid it. Brazilians must reflect deeply on their choice in the presidential elections and vote for climate, for the forest, and for a green, safe and just future.”

Photos and videos of fires in the Amazon rainforest 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

Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at

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