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 Amazon rainforest deforestation infographic
Graphic charts level of Amazon deforestation.


Amazon deforestation increased under President Bolsonaro

By Ninian Carter

November 1, 2022 - Under President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil witnessed a surge in Amazon deforestation, which jumped 72% in his first three years in office.

Illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest by loggers, ranchers and miners increased in the last few months of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

A fear that Bolsonaro would fail to be re-elected and that his successor would crack down on such activity led to the increase, according to specialists who spoke to CNN.

Sociologist Marcelo Horta, who works with indigenous people in Amazonas state, says of the situation, “The government seems to be letting people grab public lands. Trees are being knocked down and burnt in order to create grazing pastures. They just keep going. No one does anything about it.”

Since his 2018 electoral campaign, Bolsonaro has advocated against excessive environmental legislation and protections, cutting staff and reducing budgets at government environmental agencies.

Brazil will head to the UN COP27 climate talks in Egypt on November 6 with little to show, having backtracked on its pledges to reduce deforestation. At COP26 in Glasgow, it committed to cut deforestation by 15% a year in 2024, by 40% in 2025 and 50% in 2027 – but Bolsonaro never announced a concrete plan to achieve such a goal.

Bolsonaro was beaten in the October general election by former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who will take office in January 2023.

PUBLISHED: 01/11/2022; STORY: Graphic News