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Nearly 8,500 km2 of the Amazon deforested in 2020

Credit: Belga

Nearly 8,500 square kilometres of the Amazon were deforested in Brazil in 2020.

The 8,426 square kilometres comes within 8% of the 2019 record of 9,178 square kilometres, leavinng some specialists who are critical of President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policy concerned.

“In the two years of Bolsonaro’s mandate, we have had the two worst years” in terms of deforestation, said Marcio Astrini of the Climate Observatory NGO. “Forest fires also increased in those two years,” he added.

“It’s no coincidence, it’s the result of the environmental destruction policies implemented by the government,” Astrini said.

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The deforested area is five times greater than that of the city of Sao Paulo – the most populous city in Brazil -, and corresponds to two football pitches disappearing every minutes.

The months with the most deforesstation were July (1,658 km2) and August (1,358 km2).

In addition forest fires also increased in number in 2020, with 103,000 fires recorded – that’s 16% more than the year before.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times