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Deforestation falls over September in the Amazon, but is still much too high

A burning tract of the Amazon jungle is seen near Apui, Amazonas State, Brazil, August 11, 2020. photo:Reuters


Deforestation falls over September in the Amazon, but is still much too high


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | OCTOBER 11th 2020


Over the past three months, there’s been a gradual fall in deforestation rates in the Amazon rainforest. The fall has been occurring steadily since the heightened severity of forest fires, and yet is still far higher than it was in previous years.

Earlier this year, in January, government data had revealed a serious spike in deforestation activity in the Amazon rainforest compared to 2019. Much of this is primarily thought to be the fault of the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who’s been known to deny climate change, promoted the logging industry, and had taken office in 2019.

The previous month of September proved to be the third month in a row in which deforestation rates have slowly fallen, however, which some cheer as a sign of positive change. The reality of this may be somewhat grim, nonetheless.

Since President Bolsonaro took office, deforestation rates had climbed higher and higher. The recent, slow drop in these rates has been something of a nice surprise for the many environmental activists condemning the destruction. However, deforestation rates still remain higher than they had been before Bolsonaro’s presidency.

“The deforestation numbers continue to be terrible and unacceptable,” Marcio Astrini of the Climate Observatory NGO, told Reuters. “Everything that brought us to this scenario of environmental chaos, of uncontrolled deforestation and crime taking hold in the Amazon continues to exist.”

Despite the lowering deforestation rates, they are a pale celebration when considering how things in the Amazon logging industry had changed and worsened since the last year. Especially when considering the severe forest fires experienced not only by the Amazon, but in most major forests of the world – which had slowed the rates of manual deforestation, but not of destruction.

Astrini emphasized the size of the destruction of forests in the modern day by explaining that deforestation alerts used to be measured in hundreds of square kilometres. In the present day, they are measured by the thousands of square kilometres, due to the increasing amount of both industrial and unavoidable destruction to forests.

Even now, despite the falling deforestation rates, it’s still highly suspected that Brazil’s official deforestation measure for 2020 will reveal an increase. President Bolsonaro has explained his goal in this regard – to help raise Brazil out of poverty, all whilst keeping the Amazon rainforest along the appropriate model for conservation. Brazil is one of the most poverty-ridden countries in the world, with a measured poverty rate of 19.90% back in 2018.

Bolsonaro also claims that he remains unfairly demonised by environmental conservationists, despite his many policies that hinder the environmental growth of Brazil, and all the while bolster both legal and illegal logging, ranching, and land speculation.

 When the severe destruction rates began back in January, agents had to be deployed to try and curb and monitor the cause, having said that “deforestation is higher so we're out in the field earlier.” The rates of deforestation may still see a rise, and thus, nothing is yet set or clear in terms of just how much the situation will still improve or worsen.

Year by year, deforestation rates are measured by the loss/clearing of trees by region, from a period between the prior year’s August to the present year’s end of July. The yearly report for 2020 revealed that deforestation as a whole in the country had risen by 34.6%, although with data points that aren’t accounted for, the statistic is thought to be much higher.

Brazil’s Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) had made the assessment that 14,000 square kilometres of Amazon forest had been lost in the most recent data collection. There are fears that this number may heighten in the following year, and much of it may depend on Bolsonaro and whether or not he enforces some severe changes to the country’s logging industry, and environmental policy.


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2020