Between August 2020 and July 2021, 10,476 square kilometers of Amazon forest have disappeared, which is roughly equivalent to ten times the size of New York City. WWF has calculated this.
This means that deforestation in the Amazon region is at the highest level in years. At the same time, large parts of Brazil are struggling with water shortages and drought.
“If we lose the Amazon rainforest, we will lose one of the largest storage depots of CO2 in the world,” WWF’s Dirk Ember warns.
The right-wing populist Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of encouraging farmers to take increasingly large tracts of the forest for agriculture. Bolsonaro has been in power since January 1, 2019.
Indigenous peoples are advocating to protect 80 percent of the Amazon rainforest by 2025. According to United Nations studies, the groups are also best able to protect and manage the forest.