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Amazon deforestation continues as Brazil battles COVID-19

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the Amazon rainforest has lost 1,202 square km of forests so far in 2020, a 55% increase compared to the same period last year.

The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has hit a new high four months into 2020, according to Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE), on Friday.

INPE stated that a total of 1,202 square km of rainforest was wiped out in the Amazon from January to April.

According to the data INPE released, the deforestation incurred a 55% increase compared to last year’s period.

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, on Thursday deployed troops to the Amazon region to fight the continuous deforestation to the rainforest.

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President Bolsonaro is a far-right climate change skeptic who advocates opening protected lands to mining and farming.

During Bolsonaro’s first year in office, the Amazon recorded an 85% increase in deforestation, or 10,123 sq km of the forests.

Brazil’s environmental agency, IBAMA, has faced issues of staffing and budget cuts, under Bolsonaro’s presidency.

Just last month, a top environmental enforcement officer of IBAMA was relieved of his position after he televised a raid on illegal miners.

Brazil, considered as the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in South America, holds 60% of the Amazon rainforest.

Brazil, as of this writing, has 156k cases of the coronavirus, with 61,865 recoverees, and 10,656 deaths.

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