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
In Brazilian Amazon, mining harm comes from beyond just the mines, study shows
on November 24, 2022 at 7:40 pm
- A new land-use-change model suggests that the indirect impacts of mining operations in the Brazilian Amazon have been grossly underestimated.- Impacts include not only deforestation but also loss of biodiversity, contamination of water sources, and health hazards for the Indigenous peoples living in the area.- The calculation comes after years of government attempts to change existing regulations on protected areas and open them up to exploration.- New roads opened for mining could cause 40 times more deforestation than the mines themselves, wiping out an area almost the size of Puerto Rico in the RENCA protected area in the northern Amazon.
U.N. report calls for the ban of mercury trade and its use in gold mining
on November 24, 2022 at 5:53 pm
- Small-scale gold mining is the key driver of global mercury demand, according to a U.N. report on the highly toxic metal, with South America accounting for 39% of this demand.- Hair samples taken from Indigenous communities in the Bolivian and Brazilian Amazonian regions showed mercury levels in excess of the safe limit prescribed by the World Health Organization.- In Brazil specifically, mercury use has risen with the boom in illegal mining that has been largely overlooked — and in some cases even encouraged — by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.
2022 Amazon fires tightly tied to recent deforestation, new data show
on November 22, 2022 at 11:55 am
- Nearly 1,000 major fires burned in the Amazon during its 2022 fire season, according to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP).- The Brazilian Amazon accounted for the vast majority of the fires, and most burned in recently deforested areas.- MAAP uses unique satellite data detecting aerosol emissions alongside regular heat alerts, which helps filter out small fires.- Fires clearing logging debris are linked to soy-driven deforestation in some Brazilian Amazon areas, where many soy-trading companies have not signed zero-deforestation commitments.
Report offers a road map to restore the rule of law in the Brazilian Amazon
on November 22, 2022 at 9:00 am
- Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will have to supercharge many of the same policies that he employed in his first two terms to bring Amazon destruction rates down from their record highs, a new report says.- The report, by a group of development, security and conservation think tanks, lists 92 proposals for Lula when he takes office at the start of 2023, centered around ending the culture of criminal impunity that flourished under the outgoing president, Jair Bolsonaro.- Experts say the absence of law enforcement in the Amazon has strengthened a criminal ecosystem that profits from land grabbing, illegal logging, mining, and wildlife and drug trafficking.- The Bolsonaro administration has encouraged this in large part by weakening environmental enforcement agencies and putting loyalists in their top posts.
COP27: ‘Brazil is back’ to fight deforestation, Lula says, but hurdles await
on November 17, 2022 at 9:49 pm
- At COP27 this week Brazil president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pledged “zero deforestation and degradation of biomes,” a goal to be achieved by 2030.- Lula also plans to establish a Ministry of Indigenous People, and to end “all the exploration of Indigenous lands by miners, and… to prohibit timber cutters.” Activists said Lula has sent a “strong message” at the COP27 summit, a meeting which has so far seen little climate progress.- The president-elect has also met with Norway and Germany about restarting the Amazon Fund, which helped finance efforts to keep the rainforest intact until it was frozen in 2019 due to the anti-environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro.- Lula will likely have to pursue stricter forest enforcement through executive action, as he faces a congress with many members hostile to his Amazon protection promises.