Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) publishes land use change data on a monthly basis using its DETER-B system (Sistema de Detecção do Desmatamento na Amazônia Legal em Tempo Real). Below is a table with the monthly data since the system went public in August 2016. All figures are square kilometers.
Last update: 2021-May-12
|Month||Deforestation||Degradation||Deforestation with Exposed Soil||Deforestation with Vegetation||Mining||Wildfire scar||Selective Cut Type 1+2|
Banks increased deforestation-linked investments by $8B during Covid-19: report
- A new analysis of financial data by Forests & Finance, a coalition of NGOs, has found that weak policies and continued major investments in forest-risk sectors are driving deforestation in Southeast Asia, Latin America and West and Central Africa.- The group compared the environmental commitments of the world’s 50 top financial institutions against their investments, lending and guarantees to more than 200 companies operating in deforestation-linked industries such as palm oil and beef.- The group found an increase of more than $8 billion of investments in deforestation-linked companies compared to the previous year.- The Forests & Finance database was made publicly searchable last year and includes data going back to 2013.
Meet the 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners
- This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, which honors one grassroots activist from each of the six inhabited continents.- The 2021 prize winners are Sharon Lavigne from the United States, Gloria Majiga-Kamoto from Malawi, Thai Van Nguyen from Vietnam, Maida Bilal from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kimiko Hirata from Japan, and Liz Chicaje Churay from Peru.
Illegal miners block Indigenous leaders headed to protests in Brazil’s capital
- Illegal gold miners slashed the tires of a bus and threatened to set it on fire in a bid to block leaders in the Munduruku Indigenous Reserve from traveling to Brazil’s capital to attend planned protests this week, Indigenous groups and authorities say.- Indigenous leaders had to be escorted by police as they tried to reach the capital and take part in protests against invasions of their lands and violence against their people, advocates say.- The attacks come weeks after miners fired shots and set houses ablaze in the Munduruku reserve, fueling worries about more violence against Indigenous people after federal authorities retreated from the area.- Federal prosecutors and Indigenous groups have called for firmer measures against the illegal miners and permanent protection for the Munduruku Indigenous people.
Amazon rainforest destruction is accelerating, shows government data
- Destruction of Earth’s largest rainforest is accelerating ahead of the region’s peak fire and deforestation season, reveals data released today by Brazil’s national space research institute INPE.- According to INPE’s satellite-based deforestation tracking system, DETER, forest clearing in the Brazilian part of the Amazon amounted to 1,391 square kilometers in May. That represents a 67% increase over May 2020 and puts deforestation nearly on pace with last year’s rate, when forest loss in the region reached 11,088 square kilometers, the highest level since 2008.- The figure also represents the highest recorded in any May since at least 2007.- Note: this is an updated version of a story published June 4, 2021. It has been revised using data released today.
What’s the cost of illegal mining in Brazil’s Amazon? A new tool calculates it
- The launch of a gold mining impacts calculator this week — a joint project of the Federal Public Ministry and the Conservation Strategy Fund — marks a big step forward in combating illegal mining in the Brazilian Amazon, experts and government agents say.- The new tool was able to estimate damages of $431 million caused by illegal mining in 2020 on the Yanomami Indigenous Reserve, where local leaders have reported several attacks in the past month by miners, following an influx of mining activities since 2019.- Since 2019, Brazil has exported $11 billion in gold, with Switzerland, Canada and the United Kingdom as the top importers; last year alone, these three countries imported $3.5 billion of the precious metal from Brazil.- Improving traceability is another important step to cracking down on the environmentally devasting illegal gold market, says Sérgio Leitão, an expert in the fight against illegal mining in Brazil.
Slash-and-burn clearing nears Indigenous park as Brazil’s fire season ignites
- Xingu Indigenous Park shields one of the last remaining large tracts of old growth rainforest in Brazil’s “arc of deforestation,” and is inhabited by dozens of Indigenous communities.- The park experienced a jump in deforestation in 2020, quadrupling the amount of primary forest it lost in 2019.- Most of this deforestation was caused by wildfires, which likely spread from slash-and-burn activity on nearby agricultural fields.- Satellite data and imagery show agricultural fields and fires expanding towards the park in 2021 despite a prohibition on dry-season burning and a drought the likes of which haven’t been seen in nearly a century.
Brazil ‘Adopt-a-Park’ program may negatively impact traditional peoples
- Brazil has launched an ambitious “Adopt-a-Park” program, inviting local and transnational companies to provide goods and services and help manage 132 conservation units of all types in the Brazilian Amazon. Should the program be successful, it would be extended to preserves across Brazil.- Private response has been weak so far, with only eight companies, five Brazilian and three transnationals, signing up. That includes French-owned supermarket chain Carrefour, U.S. beverage maker Coca-Cola, and Dutch brewer Heineken. Details as to how the initiative will function have been scant.- The Jair Bolsonaro government says it hopes that during a time of deep federal budget cuts to environmental programs, Adopt-a-Park will add the equivalent of $600 million in goods and services to conservation coffers. But the initiative has unleashed a firestorm of criticism from socioenvironmental NGOs and traditional communities.- They say Adopt-a-Park is a way of greenwashing Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental agenda, that the program is failing to carry out required consultations with traditional peoples — such as rubber tappers and Brazil nut gatherers, who live inside extractive reserves — and that it could further the dismantling of federal agencies.
Brazil’s environment minister faces second probe linked to illegal timber
- Brazil’s highest court has authorized an investigation into alleged obstruction of justice by Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, who has admitted to siding with suspected illegal loggers targeted in a police operation.- Following the country’s biggest ever bust of illegal timber in March, Salles traveled to the site in the Amazon and declared on social media accounts that he had personally checked the origin of a sample of the wood and found it was not of illegal origin, despite the police’s evidence to the contrary.- The new investigation into Salles comes two weeks after the Federal Police began a probe into allegations that the minister was involved in exports of illegal timber to the U.S. and Europe.- Salles’s term as environment minister has been marked by skyrocketing deforestation rates, a record-high number of rural land conflicts, the gutting of environmental regulators, and an increase in invasions and attacks on Indigenous lands.
May deforestation in the Amazon hits 14-year high, with 4 days of data still to process
- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rose sharply in May, reports the country’s national space research institute INPE.- According to INPE’s satellite-based deforestation tracking system, DETER, forest destruction in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon through the first 27 days of the month amounted to 1,180 square kilometers, an area 20 times the size of Manhattan.- Deforestation in May was the highest for any May dating back to at least 2007. The next highest May on record is May 2008, when 1,096 square kilometers was cut down.- Scientists are bracing for a bad fire season in the southern and eastern Amazon due to below average rainfall during the most recent rainy season. A resurgence of fire and deforestation in the Amazon is heightening concerns about the fate of Earth’s largest rainforest, which some researchers say could be approaching a point where vast areas transition toward drier habitat.
US, UK join Norway and Germany in effort to protect Peru’s rainforests
- Britain and the United States have joined Norway and Germany in supporting efforts by the Peruvian government to reduce deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon.- The U.S. and U.K. have signed on to the existing reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) program established in 2014 by Norway and Germany with the government of Peru.- Norway and Germany have agreed to extend their participation in the program through 2025, pledging 1.8 billion Norwegian Krone ($215 million) and 210 million euros ($255 million), respectively, based on Peru’s progress in curbing deforestation.- Deforestation in Peru has been trending upward since the mid-2010s, according to data from the World Resource Institute’s Global Forest Watch. Primary forest loss reached 190,000 hectares in 2020, the highest level since at least 2002.