As conservationists say “no deforestation at all just isn’t possible,” The Amazon Rainforest is at the highest deforestation rate in a decade. Government data confirmed a 13.7 percent increase from last year’s rate.
Close to 3,050 square miles of the Brazilian Amazon was cleared between August 2017 and July 2018, which is equivalent to 987,500 soccer fields, Greenpeace Brazil reported. That trickles down to about 1.185 billion trees cut down during that time period.
While Brazil is responsible for half of the deforestation of the Amazon – the largest rainforest in the world – the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) “estimates that 27 per cent of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues.”
And conservationists don’t see it getting any better now that Jair Bolsonaro, Bazil’s new far-right president pledged to “open more of the Amazon to development,” EcoWatch reported.
According to The Hill, Bolsonaro will limit an extension of fines “for damaging forests” and will merge the agriculture and environmental ministries, the BBC reported, which experts admit will “endanger the rainforest.”
While the new data still represents a 72 percent drop from 2004 when implementation of combative deforestation measures were put in place, the increased rate in the past 10 years has many worried.