According to a report released Wednesday by Brazil's Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon (Imazon), deforestation in 2022 hit new highs, with 10,573 km² of forest vegetation lost, Agencia Brasil reported. That surface is tantamount to that of nearly 3,000 football fields, it was explained.
Satellite monitoring showed that forest loss in 2022 reached its highest level since 2008 when Imazon began measuring the Amazon Region. In the last 4 years, losses reached 35,193 km², according to Imazon. The area exceeds that of states like Sergipe (21 thousand km²) and Alagoas (27 thousand km²). The period coincides with the mandate of former President Jair Bolsonaro, who used to discredit data on deforestation.
The current government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has promised to give priority to the issue. Environment Minister Marina Silva has been making statements about the preservation of the forest. In one of the new administration's first measures, the Amazon Fund was unblocked, thus clearing the way for donations from Germany and Norway to be allocated to environmental protection actions.
We hope that this was the last deforestation record reported by our satellite monitoring system since the new government has promised to give priority to protecting the Amazon, said Imazon researcher Bianca Santos.
The institute highlighted the jump in deforestation recorded in December, a month in which 287 km² of forest were cut down, an increase of 150% compared to the same month in 2021 (140 km²) and the worst last month of the year of any historical series.
In the last month of the year, there was an unbridled race to deforest while the gate was open for cattle, for land speculation, for illegal mining and deforestation in indigenous lands and conservation units. This shows the size of the challenge of the new government, said Carlos Souza Jr, Amazon monitoring coordinator at the institute.
About 80% of the area deforested in 2022 is in lands under the responsibility of the federal government (8,443 km²). Another 11% of the destroyed territory is under the jurisdiction of state governments (1,130 km²).
Also according to the report, the state that deforested the most in 2022 was Pará (3089 km²), followed by Amazonas (2270 km²) and Mato Grosso (1228 km²). (Source: Agencia Brasil)