Status: 04.06.2021 9:28 PM
Deforestation is increasing in the Brazilian Amazon. In May alone, an area larger than Hong Kong was cleared. It’s the largest area in a month since records began.
In the Brazilian Amazon, 1,180 square kilometers of rainforest were cleared in the month of May alone. This is slightly more than the total area of Hong Kong. It’s the third consecutive month that Amazon deforestation has peaked, according to data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe).
In addition, the area deforested in May reached more than 1,000 square kilometers for the first time since records began.
A CO2 storage facility the size of Western Europe
Brazil owns a large part of the Amazon, an area the size of Western Europe, which spans nine Brazilian states and is considered a major CO2 store. So the country has been assigned a major role in climate protection.
US Climate Commissioner John Kerry recently held Brazil responsible for fighting climate change and preserving the Amazon. On the other hand, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro calls for the opening of the Amazon region for economic use. He is accused of creating a climate in which farmers feel increasingly encouraged to land for agricultural use. At the same time, environmental and regulatory authorities will be weakened in a targeted manner.
Searches in the Minister of Environment
Recently, Brazilian investigators participated Environment Minister Ricardo Salles and Ibama Environment Agency employees inspect homes and offices done. The accusation: At the beginning of 2020, the Department of Environment exempted Amazon tropical timber export permits from virtually all licensing obligations, thus enabling the export of illegally harvested timber. Suspicious transactions have also been identified.
A letter from the Federal Police to the Supreme Court stated that there is strong evidence against the head of the Environmental Agency in Ibama, which Salles is following, that he made timber smuggling possible and personally enriched himself.
Illicit gold mining rose 360 percent
Illicit gold mining is also increasingly destroying indigenous areas. It is often at the beginning of a chain that lumberjacks and ranchers follow. Recently, there has been an attack by illegal gold miners on the indigenous people of northern Brazil. They set fire to the home of an indigenous leader and opponent of illegal gold mining. A village was also shot.
According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the destruction caused by gold mining has increased by more than 360 percent in the past two years. Gold prospectors also contaminate the water with mercury, which causes it to enter the food chain. Security forces are now supposed to protect the residents of the area from gold prospectors.