This micro-site aggregates data on deforestation in the Amazon from several sources. The most timely data comes from Brazil: specifically Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Imazon, a Brazilian NGO.
Narrative context on these issues can be found at Mongabay’s Amazon rainforest section as well as Mongabay’s regular news reporting on the Amazon in English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. Recent headlines from these sites can be found at the bottom of this page.
This site is organized into sections:
- Brazilian Amazon: Monthly deforestation (INPE + Imazon)
- Brazilian Amazon: Monthly land use change (INPE)
Recent news on monitoring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest
Amazon to Alps: Swiss gold imports from Brazil tread a legal minefield
on January 21, 2022 at 5:31 pm
- The Brazilian Amazon is experiencing a new and potentially catastrophic gold rush driven by increased international demand for the precious metal.- Over the past year, an estimated $1.2 billion worth of gold has been exported from Brazil to Switzerland, making it the second-largest export market for the country’s gold, after Canada. About a fifth of this gold comes from the Amazon, according to official figures.- The scale of Brazil’s gold exports to Switzerland has raised concerns among environmental and transparency advocates that a significant quantity of illicit gold from the Amazon may be entering global supply chains.
Pesticides released into Brazil’s Amazon to degrade rainforest and facilitate deforestation
on January 19, 2022 at 3:41 pm
- Chemicals created to kill agricultural pests are being sprayed by aircraft into native forest areas.- Glyphosate and 2,4-D, among others, cause the trees to defoliate, and end up weakened or dead in a process that takes months. Next criminals remove the remaining trees more easily and drop grass seeds by aircraft, consolidating deforestation.- Brazil’s environmental agency, IBAMA, discovered that in addition to land grabbers, cattle ranchers use the method in order to circumvent forest monitoring efforts.
Grounded by conflict and COVID, Colombia’s bird tourism struggles to soar
on January 14, 2022 at 1:47 pm
- In Colombia, the landmark 2016 peace accords with the FARC heralded hopes of ushering in bird-watching tourism in previously inaccessible, biodiverse regions.- Birding tourism has unique advantages, including dedicated bird-watchers who will pay good money to go to remote locations.- But the pandemic, protests, and the persistent perception of insecurity has stymied the country’s bird tourism industry from reaching its full potential.
Brazil’s illegal gold rush is fueling corruption, violent crime and deforestation
on January 14, 2022 at 7:27 am
- Once the epicenter of the global trade in gold, illegal mining is once again surging across the Amazon.- Its extraction and trade is not only fueling corruption, money laundering and criminal violence – it is accelerating deforestation in the world’s largest tropical forest, says Robert Muggah, co-founder of the Igarapé Institute.- Muggah details a range of challenges facing efforts to rein in the gold mining sector. He says political leadership is critical to make progress on the issue: “Absent political will from the top, however, Brazil’s gold chain will continue to resemble the wild west.”
Cattle boom in Brazil’s Acre spells doom for Amazon rainforest, activists warn
on January 7, 2022 at 5:08 pm
- Government data show the number of cattle in Acre, a state in the Brazilian Amazon, increased by 8.3% in 2020, putting the state’s herd size at more than 3.8 million, or four times its human population.- The cattle industry is a key driver of Acre’s economy, and aligns with the state’s aims of promoting and expanding agricultural development within the region.- However, activists say they’re concerned the increase will lead to further environmental damage in the state, which this year recorded its highest deforestation rate in 18 years.- Experts say Acre’s cattle growth is currently not sustainable and will lead to further deforestation in the Amazon unless sustainable solutions are encouraged and implemented.