Monitoring deforestation in the Amazon

This page collects deforestation alert data published by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. INPE’s system is called DETER for Sistema de Detecção do Desmatamento na Amazônia Legal em Tempo Real, while Imazon’s system is called SAD for Sistema de Alerta de Deforestation.

As explained here, month-to-month deforestation is highly variable. Short-term, alert-based deforestation detection systems do not penetrate cloud cover, so during the rainy season — from roughly November to April — estimates are notoriously unreliable when compared to the same month a year earlier. Furthermore, most forest clearing in the Amazon occurs when it is dry. So if the dry season is early, deforestation may increase earlier than normal. For these reasons, the most accurate deforestation comparisons are made year-on-year. For Brazil, the deforestation “year” ends July 31: the peak of the dry season when the largest extent of forest is typically visible via satellite.

Short-term data isn’t useless though — it can provide insights on trends, especially over longer periods of time. Generally, comparing 12 consecutive months of alert data will provide a pretty good indication of deforestation relative to other years. Therefore the charts below include monthly data as well as the 12-month moving average (Trailing Twelve Months = “TTM”).

Last update: 2022-Sep-13

Table: Monthly deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Month DETER DETER TTM SAD SAD TTM
Apr 2008 1,124 156
May 2008 1,096 9,190 294 5,603
Jun 2008 871 9,064 612 5,716
Jul 2008 324 8,536 276 5,031
Aug 2008 757 7,835 102 4,470
Sep 2008 587 8,400 321 3,679
Oct 2008 541 8,457 102 3,257
Nov 2008 355 8,554 61 2,251
Dec 2008 177 8,013 50 2,233
Jan 2009 222 7,342 51 2,202
Feb 2009 143 6,925 62 2,201
Mar 2009 18 6,343 57 2,144
Apr 2009 37 6,214 121 2,109
May 2009 124 5,127 157 1,972
Jun 2009 578 4,155 150 1,510
Jul 2009 836 3,862 532 1,766
Aug 2009 498 4,375 273 1,937
Sep 2009 400 4,116 216 1,832
Oct 2009 176 3,929 194 1,924
Nov 2009 72 3,564 74 1,937
Dec 2009 3,281 16 1,903
Jan 2010 23 3,104 63 1,915
Feb 2010 185 2,905 88 1,941
Mar 2010 52 2,947 76 1,960
Apr 2010 52 2,981 65 1,904
May 2010 110 2,996 96 1,843
Jun 2010 244 2,982 172 1,865
Jul 2010 485 2,647 155 1,488
Aug 2010 265 2,296 210 1,425
Sep 2010 448 2,063 170 1,379
Oct 2010 389 2,111 153 1,338
Nov 2010 121 2,324 65 1,329
Dec 2010 21 2,372 175 1,488
Jan 2011 36 2,394 83 1,508
Feb 2011 1 2,407 63 1,483
Mar 2011 116 2,223 46 1,453
Apr 2011 477 2,287 298 1,686
May 2011 268 2,712 165 1,755
Jun 2011 313 2,871 99 1,682
Jul 2011 225 2,940 93 1,620
Aug 2011 163 2,680 240 1,650
Sep 2011 254 2,578 170 1,650
Oct 2011 386 2,384 102 1,599
Nov 2011 133 2,381 16 1,550
Dec 2011 75 2,393 40 1,415
Jan 2012 22 2,446 33 1,365
Feb 2012 307 2,432 107 1,409
Mar 2012 60 2,737 53 1,416
Apr 2012 233 2,681 71 1,189
May 2012 99 2,437 43 1,067
Jun 2012 108 2,268 35 1,003
Jul 2012 214 2,062 140 1,050
Aug 2012 522 2,051 232 1,042
Sep 2012 283 2,410 431 1,303
Oct 2012 277 2,439 487 1,688
Nov 2012 205 2,331 55 1,727
Dec 2012 131 2,403 82 1,769
Jan 2013 9 2,459 35 1,771
Feb 2013 270 2,447 45 1,709
Mar 2013 28 2,410 80 1,736
Apr 2013 147 2,378 140 1,805
May 2013 465 2,293 84 1,846
Jun 2013 210 2,659 184 1,995
Jul 2013 217 2,762 152 2,007
Aug 2013 289 2,766 185 1,960
Sep 2013 443 2,532 103 1,632
Oct 2013 155 2,692 43 1,188
Nov 2013 108 2,569 37 1,170
Dec 2013 93 2,472 56 1,144
Jan 2014 75 2,434 107 1,216
Feb 2014 119 2,500 11 1,182
Mar 2014 53 2,349 20 1,122
Apr 2014 166 2,374 100 1,082
May 2014 271 2,394 185 1,183
Jun 2014 535 2,200 843 1,842
Jul 2014 729 2,525 355 2,045
Aug 2014 890 3,036 437 2,297
Sep 2014 736 3,638 402 2,596
Oct 2014 298 3,931 244 2,797
Nov 2014 77 4,074 195 2,955
Dec 2014 85 4,043 95 2,994
Jan 2015 129 4,035 289 3,176
Feb 2015 61 4,089 42 3,207
Mar 2015 155 4,031 58 3,245
Apr 2015 334 4,133 137 3,282
May 2015 588 4,301 389 3,486
Jun 2015 855 4,618 494 3,137
Jul 2015 914 4,937 542 3,324
Aug 2015 654 5,122 415 3,302
Sep 2015 504 4,885 229 3,129
Oct 2015 377 4,653 230 3,115
Nov 2015 240 4,732 99 3,019
Dec 2015 89 4,896 175 3,099
Jan 2016 63 4,899 52 2,862
Feb 2016 534 4,832 0 2,820
Mar 2016 123 5,305 213 2,975
Apr 2016 436 5,274 183 3,021
May 2016 784 5,375 474 3,106
Jun 2016 1,431 5,571 972 3,584
Jul 2016 738 6,147 539 3,581
Aug 2016 1,025 5,974 582 3,748
Sep 2016 691 6,164 387 3,906
Oct 2016 750 6,364 202 3,878
Nov 2016 367 6,418 37 3,816
Dec 2016 17 6,162 0 3,641
Jan 2017 58 5,986 42 3,631
Feb 2017 101 5,971 0 3,631
Mar 2017 74 5,737 97 3,515
Apr 2017 127 5,437 96 3,428
May 2017 363 5,270 365 3,319
Jun 2017 609 4,928 537 2,884
Jul 2017 458 4,639 544 2,889
Aug 2017 278 3,892 184 2,491
Sep 2017 403 3,603 241 2,345
Oct 2017 440 3,293 261 2,404
Nov 2017 354 3,280 56 2,423
Dec 2017 288 3,551 184 2,607
Jan 2018 183 3,676 70 2,635
Feb 2018 146 3,721 214 2,849
Mar 2018 357 4,003 287 3,039
Apr 2018 490 4,366 217 3,160
May 2018 550 4,552 634 3,429
Jun 2018 488 4,432 1,169 4,061
Jul 2018 596 4,571 778 4,295
Aug 2018 530 4,823 545 4,656
Sep 2018 746 5,166 444 4,859
Oct 2018 526 5,253 187 4,785
Nov 2018 277 5,176 287 5,016
Dec 2018 67 4,955 246 5,078
Jan 2019 136 4,909 108 5,116
Feb 2019 139 4,902 93 4,995
Mar 2019 251 4,796 67 4,775
Apr 2019 247 4,554 195 4,753
May 2019 739 4,743 797 4,916
Jun 2019 935 5,190 801 4,548
Jul 2019 2,255 6,849 1,287 5,057
Aug 2019 1,713 8,032 886 5,398
Sep 2019 1,453 8,739 802 5,756
Oct 2019 555 8,768 583 6,152
Nov 2019 563 9,054 354 6,219
Dec 2019 190 9,176 227 6,200
Jan 2020 284 9,325 188 6,280
Feb 2020 186 9,371 102 6,289
Mar 2020 327 9,447 324 6,546
Apr 2020 407 9,607 529 6,880
May 2020 834 9,702 649 6,732
Jun 2020 1,043 9,810 822 6,753
Jul 2020 1,659 9,214 1,147 6,613
Aug 2020 1,359 8,859 1,499 7,226
Sep 2020 964 8,371 1,218 7,642
Oct 2020 836 8,652 890 7,949
Nov 2020 310 8,399 484 8,079
Dec 2020 216 8,425 276 8,128
Jan 2021 86 8,227 196 8,136
Feb 2021 125 8,166 179 8,213
Mar 2021 368 8,206 810 8,699
Apr 2021 580 8,379 778 8,948
May 2021 1,390 8,936 1,125 9,424
Jun 2021 1,061 8,954 926 9,528
Jul 2021 1,498 8,793 2,095 10,476
Aug 2021 918 8,352 1,606 10,583
Sep 2021 985 8,372 1,224 10,589
Oct 2021 877 8,413 803 10,502
Nov 2021 249 8,352 480 10,498
Dec 2021 87 8,223 140 10,362
Jan 2022 430 8,568 261 10,427
Feb 2022 199 8,642 303 10,551
Mar 2022 312 8,587 123 9,864
Apr 2022 1,026 9,033 1,197 10,283
May 2022 900 8,543 1,476 10,634
Jun 2022 1,120 8,602 1,429 11,137
Jul 2022 1,487 8,555 1,739 10,781
Aug 2022 1,661 9,298


In August 2016, the table data for the DETER columns switches from DETER to DETER-B, Brazil’s new deforestation detection system.

  • In Brazilian Amazon, mining harm comes from beyond just the mines, study shows

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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

    - 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.

  • Following the impacts of palm oil alliance: Violated regulations and penalty proceedings

    - The journalistic partnership behind a 2021 database gathering information on the penalties for environmental violations given to palm oil producers in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Honduras has added two more countries: Costa Rica and Brazil- In these six Latin American nations, between 2010 and 2021, at least 298 cases were opened against 170 companies and individuals involved in the palm oil industry, according to the details offered by authorities in response to requests from the journalists working on the database.- The handing over of incomplete documents and lack of information are, once again, a common feature of how authorities across the region respond to journalists’ requests. In 181 cases, it was impossible to understand the stage of the penalty proceedings, while in 42 cases there was no concrete information on whether a sanction or fine had been applied. In 47 instances, the exact nature of the environmental violation committed by the target of the proceedings was not specified.

  • Brazil’s new environmental future under Lula: Q&A with Marina Silva

    - Considered for Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment, environmentalist Marina Silva says in an interview with Mongabay that the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva means a new cycle of prosperity for the country, “when it will be possible to make the transition to a new development model that is capable of fighting inequality with democracy and sustainability.”- “Part of the agribusiness sector is realizing that this practice by Bolsonaro is bad for business,” the congresswoman-elect said about the possibility of reconciling the environmental agenda and the demands of agribusiness.- Silva stressed that the current challenges are much greater than those faced when she was a member of Lula’s first administration in 2003: “We are not going to become sustainable in the blink of an eye. It’s a transition.”

  • In final days before Bolsonaro’s defeat, deforestation boomed in Brazil

    - According to data published today by Brazil’s national space research agency INPE, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon amounted to 904 square kilometers in October, a 3% increase over last year.- Year to date, INPE’s deforestation alert system has detected 9,494 square kilometers of forest clearing, 20% more than 2021.- The figures came less than two weeks after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva narrowly defeated Jair Bolsonaro in a run off election. Lula, who presided over a sharp drop in Amazon forest deforestation during his terms in office between 2003 and 2010, made saving the Amazon a key part of his bid for the presidency.- In contrast, Bolsonaro has overseen a steep rise in deforestation, which hit a 15-year high last year.

  • Delayed Indigenous ‘Man of the Hole’ burial reveals dispute over his land

    - A court ruling ordered Brazil’s Indigenous agency Funai to bury the remains of the Indigenous Tanaru man, known as the “Man of the Hole,” three months after his death, following 26 years of solitude as the last member of his tribe.- Critics accuse Funai’s president, Marcelo Xavier, of working in favor of local agribusiness interests by deliberately stalling the funeral to help farmers claim the rights to the land.- The delay of his burial was partly due to a debate over what will happen to the land where the Indigenous man lived, which is covered in Amazon rainforest and is currently protected by a restriction of use ordinance until 2025.- The Federal Public Ministry and Amazon activists call for the land to be permanently preserved, while local farmers claim they are the owners and demand the restrictions of use be revoked to allow for agricultural expansion.

  • Deforestation is pushing Amazon to ‘point of no return’: WWF report

    - A new report from the World Wildlife Fund, called the Living Amazon Report, warns that threats to the Amazon have gotten worse in recent years, and could result in the disappearance of the biome if more drastic action isn’t taken.- Around 18% of Amazon forests are lost and another 17% are highly degraded, the report said.- If more drastic action isn’t taken, the report said the biome could transition from forest to savanna and push global warming above the safe threshold of 1.5°C.