FEBRUARY 8 (UPI) — DEFORESTATION IN BRAZIL’S AMAZON RAINFOREST MORE THAN DOUBLED IN JANUARY FROM LAST YEAR, ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL FIGURES RELEASED ON FRIDAY, FOREIGN MEDIA REPORTED. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said the Amazon rainforest felled more than 280 square kilometers (110 square miles) in January, up 108 percent from last year, according to the report. It was also the highest number of fells in January since data began to be recorded in 2015.
The data were collected by the satellite monitoring system of the National Forest Protection Agency, which monitors deforestation in real time. By comparison, 136 square kilometres were cleared in January 2019, 183 square kilometres in 2018 and 58 square kilometres in 2017.
Deforestation in Brazil’s northern Amazon region soared 85 percent in 2019, with 9,166 square kilometers, the highest in nearly five years, compared with 4,946 square kilometers in 2018, according to data released by INPE in mid-January.
It is understood that this week the Brazilian government unveiled a comprehensive plan for the Amazon rainforest, which will open up indigenous lands for mining, agriculture and hydropower projects. The bill has yet to be approved by Congress, and many ngas say it will further increase deforestation.