Amazon Deforestation in July Increased 278% over Same Period in 2018

Amazon Deforestation Shot Up by 278% Last Month, Satellite Data Show

Amazon Deforestation Shot Up by 278% Last Month, Satellite Data Show

Figures by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show Brazilian authorities removed 2,254 square kilometers of rainforest in July 2019, which is a 278% increase on the month in 2018.

On Friday (Aug. 2), Bolsonaro fired then-head of INPE, Ricardo Galvão, after the agency posted satellite data showing an 88% deforestation increase in June 2019 compared with June 2018.

The rapid rise in deforestation has triggered a global outcry and threatens to create problems for the recent free trade agreement between the South American Mercosur trade bloc, which includes Brazil and the European Union. Last week, INPE president Ricardo Galvao was sacked following disagreements with Bolsonaro over deforestation in the Amazon, fueling criticism of the president from environmental groups. Bolsonaro's attack on INPE follows seven months of policy decisions that weaken environmental legislation and science agencies while empowering business interests, the AP reported.

Around 60% of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil: it is estimated that the area takes in around two billion tons of carbon dioxide a year, releasing about a fifth of the Earth's oxygen. Bolsonaro was helped in his election previous year by support from the powerful agriculture lobby.

Mexico to remain on Formula 1 calendar until at least 2022
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The front cover of last week's Economist magazine declared "Deathwatch for the Amazon", warning the forest was "perilously close to a tipping point".

Ribeiro criticized the way the government has been imposing its environmental agenda.

But Salles said he would show "what Brazil really is" when he tours Europe in September. The president's administration also announced that the government would hire a private company to take over Amazon deforestation monitoring.

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