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Brazil Amazon Deforestation Tops 11,000 sq km, Reaching 12-Year High

“Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon topped 11,000 square kilometers for the first time since 2008 reports the Brazilian government.

According to data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute INPE, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon for the year ending July 31, 2020 amounted to 11,088 square kilometers, an area the size of Jamaica. The loss, which represents a 9.5 percent increase over the same period last year, is nearly triple the 3,925 square kilometer target established in the 2009 National Policy on Climate Change.

The state of Pará accounted for nearly half of forest clearing in 2020 according to the data. Mata Grosso (16 percent of deforestation), Amapá (14 percent), and Rondônia (11 percent) followed. Pará, Mata Grosso, and Rondônia — states where cattle ranching and soy farming have rapidly expanded in recent decades — perennially lead the country in deforestation.”

Rhett Butler reports for Mongabay November 30, 2020.