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Montevideo, June 13th 2024 - 00:52 UTC



Cerrado surpasses Amazon as Brazil's most destroyed biome in 2023

Wednesday, May 29th 2024 - 10:40 UTC
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The Amazon and the Cerrado accounted for more than 85% of the deforested area, the latter alone representing 61% The Amazon and the Cerrado accounted for more than 85% of the deforested area, the latter alone representing 61%

According to the latest MapBiomas survey, the Cerrado has surpassed the Amazon as Brazil's most deforested biome in 2023 following the damages detected in the region known as Matopiba, which includes Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí, and Bahia totaling 1,110,326 hectares destroyed, a 68% increase from 2022.

When combined, the Amazon and the Cerrado account for more than 85% of the deforested area, the Cerrado alone representing 61%. The latest report showed that the Matopiba region accounted for 47% of all the loss of native vegetation in Brazil last year and for three out of every four hectares deforested in the Cerrado in 2023. Two-thirds of the fifty municipalities with the most deforestation in Brazil in 2023 are in the Cerrado, it was also explained.

Of the four Matopiba states, only Piauí saw a reduction in deforestation. Maranhão moved from fifth to first place in the deforestation ranking for the first time, with an increase of 95.1% compared to 2022. Bahia is in second place, followed by Tocantins, which had the biggest increase compared to last year.

The MapBiomas research found that 97% of the country's deforestation was driven by agricultural expansion (1,829,597 hectares). Despite this, Brazil recorded an 11.6% drop in the total surface deforested in 2023.

“The data shows the first drop in deforestation in Brazil since 2019 when the report was first published. On the other hand, the face of deforestation is changing in Brazil, concentrating in biomes where savannah and grassland formations predominate and reducing in forest formations,” MapBiomas Coordinator Tasso Azevedo said.

In the Amazon, 1,245 hectares were lost every day, at a pace of eight trees per second.

Often in the shadow of the Amazon, the Cerrado is a vast savanna that once covered 2 million square kilometers (an area larger than Great Britain, France, and Germany combined). It extends east and south of the Amazon. Despite its size, the Cerrado has long been undervalued by scientists and environmental activists. However, researchers are beginning to realize its incredible biodiversity with over 10,000 plant species, more than 900 species of birds, and 300 species of mammals. It is the most biodiverse savanna in the world and plays a crucial role in wildlife conservation. Deforestation driven by cattle ranching and soybean production threatens its survival.


Categories: Environment, Brazil.

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