Despite the measures of total and social confinement of some States during the first quarter of this year, the illegal deforestation of the Amazon jungle grew. A 63.75% more in April compared to the same month of the previous year. This was reported by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE, for its acronym in Portuguese).
The illegal activity led to the loss of 796.08 kilometres of vegetation cover. The destruction of the region is increasing since in 2019 deforestation had grown 85% to 9,165.6 square kilometres. It is its highest level since 2016.
How is the Brazilian government handling the emergency?
Different environmental groups attribute the devastation of the Amazon to Jair Bolsonaro’s policies. Along these lines, Erika Berenguer, a specialist in ecological issues at the universities of Oxford and Lancaster, affirms that the problem with the government’s military strategy is that it focuses exclusively on fires. Thus, as he points out, they ignore the fact that it is the illegal landowners who cause the fire cutting down trees and burning them.
Romulo Batista, Greenpeace activist
“Unfortunately, it seems that what we can expect for this year are new historical marks of forest fires and deforestation.”
Not only Brazil: the situation in Argentina
In Argentina, its neighbouring country, it is possible to see the changes in the downspout of the Paraná and other rivers that make up the Plata basin. Inés Camilloni, a researcher at Conicet and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), studied the phenomenon and its impacts in the Plata basin years ago. In dialogue with Infobae, she explained that due to fires, a lot of carbon dioxide is released. The dioxide aggravates climate change and modifies the transport of moisture that contributes to forming rain throughout the Plata basin.
The changes that the loss of forest area in the Amazon can generate could cause a lesser amount of rainfall in Argentina. This is just a sample of how much the destruction of the world’s largest rain forest affects. Scientists say that its conservation is vital to curb global warming thanks to a large number of greenhouse gases it absorbs.
The consequences of these activities are catastrophic for the environment and societies. Without the Amazon, temperatures would be even higher, and the quality of the air we breathe would worsen.