Amazon Deforestation Sees Steep Increase in July

Bolsonaro was helped in his election last year by support from the powerful agriculture lobby

Bolsonaro was helped in his election last year by support from the powerful agriculture lobby

The DETER data showing the increased destruction in the Amazon triggered a crisis between INPE and president Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), which peaked with the dismissal of the institute's director, Ricardo Galvão, last Friday.

While the government admits deforestation has increased, it insists it is not as great as indicated by INPE, an agency of global repute.

It said a first step would be to block payment of 35 million euros ($40 million) for forest conservation and biodiversity programmes until the rate of decline attained encouraging levels once again.

Around 2,254 square kilometers (870 square miles) of the Amazon were cleared in July, an increase of 278 percent from a year ago, according to the embattled National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Its trees take in as much as 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year and release 20 percent of the planet's oxygen. "They are trying to forcefully implement an agenda of deconstruction, of deregulation, with total disrespect for institutions, or science", Ribeiro said.

An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. "Since the (end of the military regime), in 1985, we'd never seen anything like it".

Bolsonaro (L) and his environment minister, Ricardo Salles, have focused energy in 2019 on weakening Brazilian environmental legislation.

Whilst on the campaign trail, Bolsonaro had pledged to help mining and farming communities expand their land usage on areas such as the Amazon rainforest.

Germany will partially suspend funds sent to Brazil to finance projects aimed at preserving the Amazon forest due to increasing deforestation, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday. Galvão upheld the institute's deforestation data and reacted to Bolsonaro's personal attacks. Scientists and academics have come out in support of the institute and its former president, which have denied the accusations.

Environmental campaign organization Greenpeace published a report in June, which said that Brazil had registered more than 1,200 pesticides for use in the country, including a number which are banned in the European Union.

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