Brazilian Amazon deforestation hits record for May

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Space research institute, INPE says deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached a record for the month of May this year.

A total of 1,180 square kilometers of the Amazon was lost in May, representing a 41 percent increase compared to the same month in 2020.

It was the third straight month in which such a record was set and raises serious questions over President Jair Bolsonaro’s commitments to protecting the rainforest.

The Observatorio de Clima, an NGO which is highly critical of the government’s environmental management, said the situation is worrying because May is the start of the dry season when devastation intensifies in a large part of the Amazon region.

Deforestation figures have been collected by INPE’s satellite observation system since 2015. In April, 580 square kilometers of rainforest were lost. Since coming to power in 2019, the far-right Bolsonaro has promoted the commercialization of the Amazon and described NGOs trying to protect the jungle as a “cancer.”

However, he recently pledged to eliminate Brazil’s illegal deforestation by 2030, some 10 years ahead of target. But environmentalists accuse his government of being ignorant and even of sabotaging environmental protection measures.

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