Deforestation in the Amazon in 2021 is the highest in the last 10 years

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Deforestation in the Amazon in 2021 was the worst in 10 years, according to the Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia (Imazon). Data show that more than 10,000 kilometers of native forest were destroyed last year – a growth of 29% compared to 2020.

Between January and December of last year, 10,362 km² of native forest were destroyed, which is equivalent to half of the state of Sergipe. The alarming data were released this Monday (17), after analysis carried out by the Deforestation Alert System (SAD) of Imazon, an institute that monitors the region through satellite images.

In 2020, when the devastation was 29% less than in 2021, 8,096 km² of forest were destroyed.

“Although the month of December showed a 49% reduction in deforestation, from 276 km² in 2020 to 140 km² in 2021, the annual negative record is extremely serious in the face of the consequences of this destruction. Among them are the change in the rainfall regime, the loss of biodiversity, the threat to the survival of traditional peoples and communities and the intensification of global warming,’ said Imazon.

States that lead in the deforestation rate

The state of Pará, in the north of the country, is the region with the most deforestation. In 2021, of the nine states that make up the Legal Amazon, only Amapá did not show an increase in deforestation compared to 2020.

In addition to overcoming the devastation recorded in the previous year, the states of Acre, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins also had the largest areas of forest destroyed in 10 years.

“A historic leader, Pará maintained the first place in the ranking of those that most deforest, with 4,037 km² devastated, 39% of the registered in the entire Amazon. In the state, there was an increase in forest clearing in both federal and state areas. In addition, more than half of the 10 indigenous lands and the 10 conservation units that most deforested in 2021 are on Pará soil”, warned Imazon.

Amazonas, the second state that most deforested in 2021, was the one that showed the highest growth in devastation compared to the previous year. “The destruction recorded on Amazonian soil increased from 1,395 km² in 2020 to 2,071 km² in 2021, an increase of 49%. In Amazonas, there was also an increase in deforestation in both federal and state areas”.

Then Mato Grosso appears as the third state that most devastated the Amazon forest, with 1,504 km² in the period, 38% more than in the previous year.

Rondônia (1,290 km²) and Acre (889 km²) ranked fourth and fifth in terms of deforested area, but Acre was the third with the highest increase compared to the previous year: 28%.

The researchers cross-referenced data on deforested areas with the Brazilian Forest Service’s (SFB) National Public Forest Registry database, and note that 4,915 km² were devastated in federal territories.

“This corresponds to 47% of all deforestation recorded in the Amazon last year. In these areas alone, destruction has increased by 21% compared to 2020, the worst in 10 years,” the institute said.

Federal conservation units have also seen deforestation advance across their territories, according to the data released: In 2021, 507 km² of native forest were devastated within these protected areas, 10% more than in the previous year.

“In these territories, the devastation also reached the worst level of the decade”, warned the researchers.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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