Bolsonaro’s legacy: Record-breaking deforestation in Brazil since 2019
Inpe’s official data on deforestation in Brazil
In the four years of Bolsonaro driving, deforestation in Brazil has grown by almost 60% compared to the previous four years. And even 75.5% compared to a decade earlier, when the rate of deforestation in a dive reflected the policies promoted by then President Lula. Who will return to lead the country from 1 January after winning the last election. Bolsonaro has thus set an unenviable record: it is the largest increase among presidential mandates since satellite monitoring, that is, since 1988.
A surge that overshadows the (positive) data related to the last season of deforestation in Brazil, released by INPE, the National Institute for Space Research that is responsible for monitoring the situation in the legal Amazon by satellite. Between August 2021 and July 2022, the PRODES logging system recorded the destruction of 11,568 km2 of rainforest. An area larger than Abruzzo, but still 11.3% less than the year before.
“The Bolsonaro regime was a machine for burning forests. The outgoing president is sworn in with a deforestation of 7,500 km2 and leaves with 11,500 km2. The only good news is that he is leaving“, says Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Observatory on climate. The NGO points out that in the last year the only state where deforestation has risen is Amazonas. Where part of the destruction of the rainforest depends on the construction of the BR-319, the highway between Manaus and Porto Velho that crosses a still untouched part of the Amazon.
“Recent Deter data indicates that the devastation remains out of control. Jair Bolsonaro will leave his successor a cursed legacy of growing deforestation and a burning Amazon. If Lula wants the numbers of forest destruction to decrease in 2023, she will have to have zero tolerance with environmental crimes from the first day in office,” adds Astrini.