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They warn that fires in the Amazon continue at high levels

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They warn that fires in the Amazon continue at high levels

That figure represents an increase from annual losses of about 6,500 square kilometers during the previous decade.

The number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon fell slightly in August compared to 2020, but remained close to the worst levels of the last decade, registered under the government of Jair Bolsonaro, according to official data.

Brazil’s space agency INPE recorded 28,060 fire outbreaks in the Brazilian Amazon last month, 4.3% less than in August 2020, although well above the 18,000 average in the decade before Bolsonaro’s arrival. to power, in 2019.

During the administration of the far-right president, who is pushing to open protected lands to agribusiness and mining, there was an increase in deforestation in the Amazon, reported AFP.

Since the beginning of his administration, the Brazilian portion of the world’s largest rainforest has lost around 10,000 square kilometers of forest cover a year, an area close to the size of Lebanon.

That figure represents an increase from annual losses of about 6,500 square kilometers during the previous decade.

The number of fires also increased.

“The number of fires recorded each August – the beginning of the dry season – has reached absurd levels since 2019,” said Cristiane Mazzetti, Greenpeace’s environmental manager.

He added that “it is as if the government has created a ‘Bolsonaro standard’ of destruction, the result of a retrograde vision of development that does not dialogue or benefits the majority of Brazilians, in addition to going against efforts to contain the climate emergency. “Mazzetti said in a statement.

Fires tend to increase dramatically in the Amazon when drier weather hits between August and November, as farmers, ranchers, and land squatters first cut down trees and then burn them to clear the land.

Scientists say that naturally occurring forest fires are practically non-existent in the Amazon, given a large amount of rainfall it receives.

In 2019, Bolsonaro’s first year in office, a sharp increase in fires in this jungle sparked global protests.

That year, INPE registered 30,900 fires in August, compared to 10,421 fires in the same month of 2018.

Ane Alencar, science director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), said that the fire season this year will depend on climatic factors such as rainfall.

But “we are still at the same level (of deforestation and fires) as in 2019,” he told AFP.

“It’s as if we were getting used to such high numbers,” he lamented.

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