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: 2022-Mar-11
|Month||Deforestation||Degradation||Deforestation with Exposed Soil||Deforestation with Vegetation||Mining||Wildfire scar||Selective Cut Type 1+2|
Forest fires are getting worse, 20 years of data confirm
- Fires are now causing an additional 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) of tree cover loss per year than they did in 2001, according to a newly released Global Forest Watch analysis that examined fires that burn all or most of a forest’s living overstory trees.- The majority of all fire-caused tree cover loss in the past 20 years (nearly 70%) occurred in boreal regions. Although fires are naturally occurring there, they are now increasing at an annual rate of 3% and burning with greater frequency and severity and over larger areas than historically recorded.- Fires are not naturally occurring in tropical rainforests, but in recent years, as deforestation and climate change have degraded and dried out intact forests, fires have been escaping into standing tropical rainforests. GFW findings suggest fires in the tropics have increased by roughly 5% per year since 2001.- Researchers say there is no “silver bullet” solution for forest fires, but experts call for more spending on planning and preparation.
Amazon deforestation on pace to roughly match last year’s rate of loss
- Deforestation in Earth’s largest rainforest is on track to rival last year’s 15-year-high according to data released today by the Brazilian government.- INPE, Brazil’s national space research institute, today published figures from its DETER deforestation alert system, which tracks forest clearing on a near-real time basis. INPE’s system detected 8,590 square kilometers of deforestation between August 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022, 2.3% lower than the previous year, when deforestation hit the highest level since 2006.- The area of forest affected by degradation and selected cutting, which is typically a precursor to outright deforestation, climbed 15.6% year over year.- 2022’s tally represents an area nearly the size of Puerto Rico or Cypress. But the actual area of forest loss over the past 12 months is significantly higher: INPE is expected to release its findings from analysis of high resolution satellite imagery in October or November.
Violence persists in Amazon region where Pereira and Phillips were killed
- Armed illegal gold miners on July 15 threatened government rangers near the site where British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira were killed in June.- Days after the threats, federal prosecutors charged three men in the killing of Phillips and Pereira, but activists and lawmakers say the investigation needs to be expanded to identify the possible involvement of criminal organizations.- Activists say threats against government officials, including Pereira, have happened for decades, but that the situation has grown dire under President Jair Bolsonaro.- The government’s weakening of environmental agencies and Bolsonaro’s anti-Indigenous rhetoric have created a sense of impunity, emboldening criminals in the Amazon to retaliate against activists and environmentalists who expose their illicit activities, experts say.
As roads and railways threaten primates, Brazil is a global hotspot
- A study mapping out the regions of the world where primates face the greatest risk from infrastructure such as roads, railways, power lines and pipelines has identified Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and China atop the list.- Of the 512 known primate species, 92, or 18%, are directly affected by roads and railways; threats come from vehicle impacts as well as the “barrier effect” that the infrastructure poses, limiting the mobility of tree-dwelling animals.- Some 25 million kilometers (15 million miles) of roads and railways are expected to be built by 2050, of which 90% will be in less-industrialized countries, including tropical regions that are home to rich primate diversity.- Nearly 200 million hectares (almost 500 million acres) of tropical forest have been lost over the past 20 years in regions where primates live, with Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and the Amazon considered high-priority areas for mitigation and preservation measures.
Organized crime drives violence and deforestation in the Amazon, study shows
- Increasing rates of both deforestation and violence in the Brazilian Amazon are being driven by sprawling national and transnational criminal networks, a study shows.- Experts say criminal organizations engaged in activities ranging from illegal logging to drug trafficking often threaten and attack environmentalists, Indigenous people, and enforcement agents who attempt to stop them.- In 2020, the Brazilian Amazon had the highest murder rate in Brazil, at 29.6 homicides per 100,000 habitants, compared to the national average of 23.9, with the highest rates corresponding to municipalities suffering the most deforestation.- Experts say the current government’s systematic dismantling of environmental protections and enforcement agencies has emboldened these criminal organizations, which have now become “well connected, well established and very strong.”
From agribusiness to oil to nuclear power and submarines: welcome to anti-environmental Putin-Bolsonaro alliance (commentary)
- Brazil’s dependence on Russian fertilizers has contributed to Jair Bolsonaro’s friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin as well as environmental impacts in the South American nation.- In this editorial Nikolas Kozloff, an American academic, author and photojournalist, reviews some of the implications of the growing ties between the two leaders, including deforestation in the Amazon, extractive industries, and infrastructure projects.- This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Mongabay.
As the Amazon burns, only the weather can ward off a catastrophe, experts say
- The Brazilian Amazon saw the highest number of fires for the month of June in 15 years, with 2,562 major fires detected, an increase of 11.14% over 2021.- The first half of the year had 7,533 major fires, the most since 2019, according to data from the national space research institute.- On June 23, the Brazilian government issued a decree banning the use of fires to manage forests throughout the country for the next 120 days.- Experts say they’re skeptical about this ban, noting that similar measures failed to stop the burning in previous years, and say the weather is the only thing that can help curb the increase in fires as the dry season unfolds.
Brazil’s new deforestation data board sparks fear of censorship of forest loss, fires
- A new council set by the Brazilian government to vet deforestation and forest fire data from the country’s space agency has been widely slammed as a political ploy to aid President Jair Bolsonaro’s reelection bid.- The National Institute of Space Research (INPE) has provided and analyzed deforestation and forest fire data in the Amazon since 1988 and is globally renowned for its monitoring expertise, but was left out of the new council.- The Bolsonaro government has questioned the credibility of INPE’s data since taking office in 2019, drawing outrage from scientists and researchers for claiming that data showing a spike in deforestation under Bolsonaro was false.- Experts have raise concerns that the new council could prevent the release of annual deforestation data, scheduled at the same time as this year’s elections, that are expected to show an alarming increase in both forest loss and fires.
Red-hot demand for ipê wood coincides with deforestation hubs in Brazil
- Logging to meet demand for the tropical hardwood ipê coincides with hotspots of illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the source of 96% of the ipê used worldwide, a report shows.- So far this year, the total area of deforestation alerts in the top 20 ipê-harvesting municipalities cover an area an eighth the size of Rio de Janeiro.- The logging industry says concessions authorized by the government deliver only 2% of the native wood that reaches the markets; the remainder is potentially tainted with illegality.- Experts recommend sweeping measures to address the destruction of the Amazon for this coveted hardwood, including cracking down on deforestation and encouraging the use of alternative woods.
$245-million initiative to create and maintain protected areas in Colombia
- Heritage Colombia is a $245-million initiative to support the creation, expansion and improvement of 32 million hectares (nearly 80 million acres) of protected land and marine areas in the country over the next decade.- It’s a Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) initiative, meaning that conservation funding was secured from the public and private sector for wide-reaching, long-term projects.- If Heritage Colombia is successful, the country will see 26% of its land territory and 30% of its oceans under protection, meeting some of its 30×30 commitment eight years early.