The space agency in Brazil recently reported that the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest has surged to the highest level since 2008. From August 2019 to July 2020, nearly 4,281 were destroyed, a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year.
The rain forest works as a vital carbon source that plays a key role in slowing down the pace of global warming and environmental changes. Meanwhile, the country’s top scientists had maintained that the situation had worsened since 2019 when the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro took office.
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Over the past year, the incumbent government in Brazil has encouraged mining and agriculture activities in the Amazon rain forest. According to the latest data provided by the country’s space agency, there has been significant growth in deforestation from the numbers reported in 2018. But the new numbers are preliminary, and the official statistics are set to be released in 2020.
Authorities in Brazil have now set goals of slowing down the pace of deforestation to 3,900 square kilometers annually by the end of this year. President Bolsonaro has not only encouraged agriculture and mining activities in the rain forest but has also halted funding to the government agencies, which have the power to fine and arrest the violators of the environmental laws.
Previously, Jair Bolsonaro has also clashed with the space agency over the deforestation data it has released and accused the agency of smearing the country’s international reputation. Climate Observatory, a local NGO, said that the latest figures suggest that the government has successfully annihilated the federal agencies’ powers to enforce environmental laws.
On the other hand, some scientists maintained that the rate of deforestation was lower than last year and described it as an encouraging sign.
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