More than two months of suffering for the Amazon rainforest before turning the page on the Bolsonaro era. Meanwhile, he is suffering more than ever. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached 904 km² in October, a record for this month of the year, according to official data released on Friday.
The DETER satellite observation system, in use since 2015, has detected a 3% increase in deforested area in the largest rainforest on the planet compared to October 2021. The data was recorded by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE ).
In just ten months, 2022 is already the worst year in this statistical series for deforestation in the Amazon, with 9,494 km² of vegetation wiped off the map, beating the record of 9,178 km² for the whole of 2021. Also in April 2022, the month had been a record, with double the deforestation from last year at the same time.
“Great challenge to change the situation”
The Brazilian branch of the NGO WWF pointed out in a press release that deforestation and fires have had “exploded” in the Amazon from the result of the presidential elections. As if you don’t have to waste a minute. On October 30, the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, accused by environmentalists of favoring the destruction of the Amazon, was short-headed by former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), which is committed to fighting for zero deforestation to preserve biodiversity and the climate. Lula will take over the presidency on January 1, 2023.
“The increase in deforestation was expected (in October), but the preliminary data of the first days of November are scary, it is a real frenzied race to devastation” before the change of government, regrets the WWF. Under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, average annual deforestation increased by 75% compared to the previous decade.
President-elect Lula confirmed Thursday that he would go to COP 27 in Egypt early next week, where he could announce the first guidelines of his environmental policy.
“The new government will have a lot of work to put the country back on track, to put an end to the perception that the Amazon is a lawless land”, says Raul do Valle of WWF, quoted in the NGO’s press release. The environmental policy of the Bolsonaro government “It will still do damage for a while, it will be a great challenge to change the situation, but it is inevitable that Brazil will once again be the protagonist in the climate debate”, adds André Freitas, of Greenpeace in Brazil.