Amazon Deforestation Increasing Under Bolsonaro's Government
Amazon Deforestation Increasing Under Bolsonaro's Government

MANAUS, BRAZIL — The fate of the Amazon rainforest hangs in the balance as Brazil's government, led by President Jair Bolsonaro, this year allowed a 9.5% yearly increase in deforestation of the world's last great wilderness.

As reported by Reuters, this increase is especially worrisome, as it follows on a whopping 34% increase in 2019, which was Bolsonaro's first year as president.

This means that the total area that had been deforested in 2020 is the highest it's been in 12 years.

It also means that Brazil will miss its own target, established under a 2009 climate-change law, to reduce annual deforestation to about 3,900 square kilometers.

The 2020 figure of 11,088 square kilometers is a massive 7,200 square kilometers more than this target of 3,900.

The Amazon is the world's last big rainforest, and its protection is crucial to stopping catastrophic climate change, because of the vast amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs.

The Brazilian NGO, Climate Observatory, says the huge increase in deforestation reflects Bolsonaro's efforts to hamper inspection bodies that fight deforestation and land theft in the Amazon.