Amazon deforestation continues as Brazil battles COVID-19
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.
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.