Posted on November 19, 2021 at 8:42 amUpdated November 19, 2021, at 9:19 p.m.

This is an achievement that has not been seen in fifteen years. Between August 2020 and July 2021, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon increased by almost 22% in one year, exceeding 13,000 km2. For those who have a few more – a tendency to cast doubt on Jair Bolsanaro’s government’s desire to change course with more “concrete” measures.

In all, deforestation in the world’s largest tropical forest extended to exactly 13,235 km2. This is the largest area since 2005-2006 (14,286 km2), according to data from Brazil’s National Space Research Organization (INPE) PRODES deforestation monitoring organization released on Thursday.

Deforestation has increased for the third year in a row since far-right President Jair Bolzano took office. It has been the subject of international criticism for undermining Amazon’s (ecological) monitoring and promoting extraction in protected areas.

Illegal mining activities

These figures “are a challenge for us and we must be tough on tackling environmental crimes,” Brazilian Environment Minister Joachim Leid told a news conference shortly after the document was released. He has long worked for the Brazilian Rural Society, a powerful agribusiness lobby, yet confirmed that the data “do not accurately reflect the reality of recent months”.

Nevertheless, according to information released by the INBE last week, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached 877 km2 in October, a record for this month of the year for five years. The Brazilian government says it has intensified its efforts to combat poaching through a three-month-long military presence in the worst-hit areas.

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Deforestation is especially due to illegal mining and animal husbandry. “For those who continue to commit these environmental crimes, (we warn), the Brazilian government will show its full strength in the Amazon,” said Anderson Torres, Minister of Justice and Public Security.

Annual annihilation parallel to Lebanon

When he came to power in 2019, thanks to the support of the powerful agribusiness lobby, Jair Bolzano said he wanted to open up protected lands and indigenous reserves to agriculture and mining. In three years, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has averaged about 10,000 km2 – equivalent to the area of ​​Lebanon – reaching about 6,500 km2 in the previous decade.

Polsano replied that the decision was “the result of a continuous, planned and sustained effort to undermine environmental protection policies” under the government, in a statement by Marcio Astrini, secretary of climate monitoring – which brings together key environmental NGOs and organizations. Active in Brazil including WWF and Greenpeace.

Commitment to COP26

The watchdog also accused the government of withholding data after COP26. In fact, the document released by INPE on Thursday – merged with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation – dated October 27, 2021. “The government already had data on deforestation during a conference on climate change in Scotland. And deliberately avoided them, ”the NGO argued.

“The information I have is leaked today,” Environment Minister Joachim Lead responded. “We will definitely change the numbers (deforestation) and be determined to achieve the goal announced at the conference,” he continued. At COP26 in Glasgow, Brazil promised to extend the deadline for clearing illegal deforestation in its territory by two years from 2030 to 2028. The country covers 60% of the land area of ​​the Amazon.

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