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
Swiss pledge to stop illegal gold imports from Brazil Indigenous reserves
on June 27, 2022 at 4:06 pm
- Switzerland imported 24.5 tonnes of gold in 2021, at least a fifth of which came from Brazilian Amazon states. Evidence indicates most of it is mined illegally on Indigenous lands. Illicit mining operations have resulted in major Amazon deforestation, widespread mercury poisoning and soaring violence.- With the Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro unresponsive to the escalating crisis, an independent delegation of Indigenous people along with others travelled to Switzerland in May to plead with major gold refiners to end the importation of illicit Brazilian gold.- This week, the refiners published a statement pledging to remove illegal gold mined within Brazilian Indigenous reserves from their supply chains. If the initiative is fully followed, experts say it could be a game changer that could undermine the, until now, lucrative illegal gold trade.- Canada, the world’s biggest importer of gold from the Brazilian Amazon, has made no such agreement.
In Brazil, an Indigenous land defender’s unsolved killing is the deadly norm
on June 27, 2022 at 12:35 pm
- Two years after the death of Indigenous land defender Ari Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau in Brazil’s Amazonian state of Rondônia, questions about who killed him and why remain unanswered.- Perpetrators of crimes against environmental activists are rarely brought to justice in the country, with a government report showing zero convictions for the 35 people killed in incidents of rural violence in 2021 — about a third of them in Rondônia.- Indigenous groups and environmental activists in Rondônia say they fear for their lives as the criminal gangs that covet the Amazon’s rich resources act with impunity in threatening defenders and invading protected lands.- Activists and experts point to a combination of the government’s anti-Indigenous rhetoric and the undermining of environmental agencies as helping incite the current surge of invasions and violence against land defenders in Rondônia and the wider Brazilian Amazon.
For Brazil communities along a mining railway, impacts outweigh any benefits
on June 23, 2022 at 2:38 pm
- In Brazil’s Maranhão the state, which has the lowest household income in Brazil, communities face the impacts of a railroad built and operated around the clock by mining company Vale.- The Carajás Railroad runs 892 kilometers (554 miles) from the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine to the port of Ponta da Madeira on Brazil’s Atlantic coast, contributing to Vale’s record $24 billion profit in 2021.- Residents living near the railroad report a long history of health problems, structural damage to their houses, people hit by trains, deaths, and lack of dialogue with the company.- With their grievances going ignored and their freedom of movement curtailed, these impoverished communities say they don’t see the benefits from the mining money.
The war on journalists and environmental defenders in the Amazon continues (commentary)
on June 16, 2022 at 11:45 pm
- Journalists in Brazil and around the world are devastated about the tragic end of a 10-day search for British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous advocate Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest near the Brazil-Peru border in northern Amazonas state. Bodies believed to be theirs were found on June 15 after a huge outcry against the federal government’s inaction following their disappearance. Indigenous patrols bravely conducted their own search while the government did little.- The murders of Dom and Bruno are emblematic of the plight of journalists across Latin America as violence against both journalists and activists in the region escalates. It also raises an alarm for the need to protect reporters as we report on environmental crime from Nature’s frontline.- But these crimes will not stop us: Exposing wrongdoing across Brazil’s critical biomes — from the Mata Atlantica to the Cerrado to the Amazon — is more necessary than ever now. At the same time, demanding justice for the murder of Bruno and Dom became a fight for all of us.- This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Mongabay.
Deaths of Phillips and Pereira shine light on a region of the Amazon beset by violence
on June 16, 2022 at 5:29 pm
- Brazilian police reported on June 15 that they had found the bodies believed to be those of Brazilian Indigenous defender Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips deep in the western Amazon.- The bodies were found not far from where the pair disappeared on June 5, in the Vale do Javari region, considered the most violent region of Brazil, where criminal groups vie to seize land occupied by Indigenous and traditional communities.- Similar conflicts occur all over the Amazon, with some land grabbers admitting that they will, if necessary, use violent methods to achieve their goals.- The Brazilian Senate has launched an investigation into the disappearance of Pereira and Phillips, but observers say it’s unlikely to deliver the far-reaching change required to tackle the violence.