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: 2021-Sep-10
Table: Monthly deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
|Month||DETER||DETER TTM||SAD||SAD TTM|
In August 2016, the table data for the DETER columns switches from DETER to DETER-B, Brazil’s new deforestation detection system.
Countering Bolsonaro’s UN speech, Greenpeace releases Amazon deforestation photos
- Hours after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro painted a rosy picture of his administration’s environmental record during a United Nations speech, Greenpeace and other environmental groups released a set of photos showing continued deforestation and fires in Earth’s largest rainforest.- Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro cited a 32 percent reduction in deforestation in the month of August relative to a year ago, the country’s near decade-old Forest Code, and lands set aside as Indigenous territories — which he’s fought to undermine and dismantle — as evidence of Brazil’s contributions toward mitigating climate change.- But activists pushed back on Bolsonaro’s statement, noting rising deforestation in the Amazon and his administration’s rollback of environmental laws and law enforcement, while publishing dramatic images captured in two Amazon states between September 14 and 17.- Brazil does have some of the strongest forest protection laws on the books among major tropical forest nations, but enforcement has been lax, especially under Bolsonaro, when the deforestation rate in the Amazon has climbed to the highest level since 2008. Bolsonaro’s reference to one month of deforestation data doesn’t reflect the trend of rising deforestation that he’s presided over since taking office in January 2019.
Fires in the Amazon have already impacted 90% of plant and animal species
- New study addresses the effects of fires on biodiversity loss in the world’s largest forest during the last two decades.- Researchers measured the impacts on the habitats of 14,000 species of plants and animals, finding that 93 to 95% suffered some consequence of the fires.- Primates were the most affected, as they depend on trees for movement, food and shelter. Rare and endemic species with restricted habitats suffered the strongest impacts.- The study assessed two decades of fires between 2001 and 2019 and confirmed the impact of environmental policies on deforestation cycles in the Amazon; law enforcement was concluded to have direct impact on the extent and volume of fires.
Indigenous Land in the Brazilian Amazon is a brake on deforestation and may start generating carbon credits
- A study says that Brazil’s Puyanawa Indigenous people will prevent around 6,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2025, equivalent to about $38,000 annually.- Practices such as putting agricultural activities in previously degraded areas, forest restoration and agroforestry have prevented deforestation in their western Amazon reserve, which has dropped by half in recent years.- The latest survey from Brazilian mapping project Mapbiomas shows that the country’s forests and native vegetation are best preserved in Indigenous territories.
Illegal logging reaches Amazon’s untouched core, ‘terrifying’ research shows
- Satellite imagery shows that logging activity is spreading from peripheral areas of the Amazon toward the rainforest’s core, according to groundbreaking research.- The satellite-based mapping of seven of Brazil’s nine Amazonian states showed a “terrifying” pattern of logging advance that cleared an area three times the size of the city of São Paulo between August 2019 and July 2020 alone.- At the state level, lack of transparency in logging data makes it impossible to calculate how much of the timber production is illegal, experts say.- Evidence of cutting in Indigenous reserves and conservation units — where logging is prohibited — make clear that illegal logging accounts for much of the activity, according to the report.
Deforestation sweeps national park in Brazil as land speculators advance
- Between January and early September, 3,542 deforestation alerts have been confirmed in primary forest within Campos Amazônicos National Park, according to satellite data, representing a 37% jump over the average amount of forest loss for the previous five years.- Much of the occupation of the Campos Amazônicos park is happening through illegitimate land claims, fueled by hopes that protections on the park may be loosened in the future, environmentalists say. Even though the park is under federal protection, this hasn’t stopped invaders from falsely registering slices of it as their property.- Environmentalists warn the social and environmental impacts could be devastating. Campos Amazônicos wraps around the Tenharim do Igarapé Preto Indigenous Reserve, which was until recently under attack by illegal miners who descended on the territory in search of cassiterite; sources say the fresh incursions into Campos Amazônicos could put the area back at risk.- The park also holds one of the most striking enclaves of cerrado in the Amazon rainforest, housing stretches of shrubs, grasslands and dry forest typical of the savanna biome. Campos Amazônicos is also part of the Southern Amazon Conservation Corridor that represents one of the best-preserved stretches of the rainforest.
After surge, Amazon deforestation slows for second straight month
- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon declined for the second straight month according to data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute INPE.- Year to date, INPE’s DETER deforestation alert system has registered 5,822 square kilometers of forest clearance. At this time last year the tally stood at 6,099 square kilometers.- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon hit a 12-year high last year.
As illegal logging route in Peru nears Brazil, Indigenous groups warn of calamity
- Loggers are illegally reopening an abandoned road in Peru’s Ucayali region, threatening the dozens of Indigenous territories along the country’s border with Brazil, activists say.- The UC-105 road reportedly cut through the Sawawo Indigenous Reserve in Peru last month, stopping just 11 kilometers (less than 7 miles) from the Brazilian border.- The project is not authorized by Peru’s government but has forged ahead anyway, with no environmental impact studies or consultation with communities, Indigenous leaders say.- Critics of the road say it will bring a surge in deforestation, drug trafficking and river degradation for the region’s Indigenous communities, who have been fighting off the loggers for decades and are now demanding authorities act to stop the advance of the road.
‘Join us for the Amazon,’ Indigenous leaders tell IUCN in push for protection
- At the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France, Indigenous leaders and conservationists called for support of their effort to protect 80% of the Amazon Basin by 2025.- Scientists say the Amazon region has already lost 17% of its forest cover and that an additional 17% has been degraded by forest loss, fragmentation, wildfires and drought, and that these pressures are pushing the rainforest toward a critical tipping point.- While the recognition of Indigenous land rights would be a critical first step, experts say that Indigenous communities need support in enforcing their land rights and their efforts to defend the Amazon.- A motion that would support area-based conservation targets with the view to protecting at least 80% of the Amazon by 2025 was eventually approved by the IUCN World Conservation Congress.
Amazon, meet Amazon: Tech giant rolls out rainforest carbon offset project
- Tech giant Amazon has announced a nature-based carbon removal project in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC).- The project will help small farmers produce sustainable agricultural produce through reforestation and regenerative agroforestry programs, in exchange for carbon credits that will go to the internet company.- Called the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator, the initiative is expected to support 3,000 small farmers in Pará state and restore an area the size of Seattle in the first three years, and in the process remove up to 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through 2050.- In addition to addressing climate and social issues, the partners say the project intends to address the shortcomings of the carbon credit market by creating new standards for the industry.
Drug trafficking threatens Indigenous Shipibo communities in Peru
- The Flor de Ucayali municipality belongs to Indigenous Shipibo-Conibo communities and has been the site of intense deforestation, according to local sources and satellite data.- Community members say the driver of forest loss is illicit coca cultivation. Coca is used to make cocaine.- Shipibo-Conibo residents say they have been threatened by armed drug traffickers.- Authorities have intervened, but residents say the threats continue. Satellite data and imagery show continuing deforestation in the area.