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It was the shock news of 2019: the burning rainforests in Brazil. But today the still alarmingly high deforestation in the green lungs of the earth is unfortunately continuing. The destruction is even worse than last year when the world was in shock because of it. But the corona crisis currently seems to cover all other important issues …
The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has reached its highest level since 2008, according to the space agency (Inpe), which uses satellite images to determine the extent of the destruction. It used to be said that an area of forest the size of a football pitch was cleared every minute. But that has only increased.
In 2020, the destruction of the world's largest rainforest increased to 11,088 square kilometers compared to the previous year. Deforestation levels in Brazil's Amazon rainforest rose to a 12-year high, official government data showed. The destruction has increased since President Jair Bolsonaro took office and deliberately weakened environmental protection.
Destroying the rainforest and all of its inhabitants to make more money
In addition to encouraging deforestation in the rainforest, Bolsonaro has cut funding for federal agencies that crack down on farmers and loggers who violate environmental laws. Thousands of years old forests are being destroyed in order to create fields for cattle grazing or soybean cultivation - high wage earners in Brazil.
The South American country will thus miss its own goal, which was set as part of a climate protection law of 2009 of reducing annual deforestation to around 3,900 square kilometers. The consequences of missing the target are not set out in law, but could bring legal action against the government.
The forests around the Amazon make up the largest rainforest in the world, and protecting it is crucial in preventing the imminent climate catastrophe due to the enormous amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs. Climate researchers confirm that the billions in trees and plants are a huge carbon store and without them the rise in global temperatures will accelerate even further. In addition, the Amazon region is home to around three million plant and animal species as well as one million indigenous people, all of whom are being displaced from their homeland.