According to Brazil government sources, 7900 square kilometres of the Amazon was cleared between August 2017 and July 2018, making it the worst annual deforestation rate in a decade.
Already environmentalists fear that Brazil’s new President’s policies could prove to be catastrophic for the Amazon and global climate as he announced his intention of opening more of the Amazon forest area for development.
It should be noted that deforestation in the Amazon had actually decreased from around 2005 to 2011 by an impressive 70 percent due to increased government protections in response to a growing popular movement to protect the rainforest. Even from 2011 to 2017, as the country entered a more chaotic political period, the decrease in deforestation stopped, but it didn’t reverse. Bolsonaro’s leadership, unfortunately, could undo any of that progress.
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