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New images reveal illegal deforestation in the Amazon

New images highlight the extent of illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. 

Greenpeace Brazil has captured images of illegal fires causing widespread destruction in the Amazon, during a flyover carried out between 29 – 31 July 

The images come as the Brazilian Space Research Institute (INPE) registered 8.712 km² of deforestation over the period of August 2020 to July 2021, the second largest year-round deforestation rate recorded by the DETER-B alert system.

Despite promises by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to address illegal deforestation, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has recently passed a radical law, PL2633 that would legitimize land grabbing within public land. 

According to Greenpeace, land grabbing on public lands is linked to one-third of all Amazon deforestation in Brazil. 

Forest fire in a deforested area in a public forest in Porto Velho, Rondônia. – Christian Braga / Greenpeace

Cristiane Mazzetti, the senior forest campaigner at Greenpeace Brazil, said: ‘Having dismantled environmental enforcement, Bolsonaro and the Brazilian congress are now proactively trying to reward illegal deforestation and land theft.

‘Using emergency legislative rules inappropriately, they are sneaking through new radical bills that will bring more destruction and worsen the climate emergency.

‘Few expected this government to fulfil its disingenuous promise to reduce deforestation by 10%.

‘Officials continue to weaken environmental agencies and, for the third year in a row, are using the military to investigate environmental crimes, a strategy proven to be ineffective.

‘If the Brazilian Senate approves the land-grabbing bill, however, they will accelerate the collapse of the Amazon and destroy parts of the rainforest that are key to preventing the worst scenarios of the climate and biodiversity emergencies.’

In related news, less than 10% of carbon emissions from deforestation in the Amazon have been offset by the growth of new forests, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters.

 

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