Dec 1, 2020 - World

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon hits 12-year high

 Aerial view of a deforested area in the municipality of Melgaco, Para State, Brazil, on July 30
A deforested area in the municipality of Melgaco, Para State, Brazil, on July 30. Photo: Tarso Sarraf/AFP via Getty Images

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest has accelerated under President Jair Bolsonaro's presidency and reached a 12-year high in 2020, data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) released Monday shows.

Why it matters: The Amazon plays a huge role in slowing global warming as the world's largest and most biodiverse rainforest. The Brazilian region lost 2.7 million acres to logging, land clearing and fires from August 2019 to July 2020 — a 9.5% rise on the previous period. Bolsonaro said last year, "Deforestation and fires will never end. It's cultural."

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