Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon hits April high, prompts alarm

The land area in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest that lost tree cover last month was the biggest since the authorities started to keep track of the same in 2015.

According to data from the national space research agency INPE, the total area that was cleared of trees in April totalled 1,012.5sq km (390sq miles), nearly double of the peak recorded last year during the same period.

The experts have now warned that 2022 could become Brazil’s fourth straight year of decade-high deforestation. The loss recorded between April 1 and April 29 amounts to an area equivalent to about 140,000 football fields, per a report in Aljazeera.

“The cause of this record has a first and last name: Jair Messias Bolsonaro,” said Marcio Astrini, head of Brazilian advocacy group Climate Observatory. The first four months of the year also witnessed a record destruction of the Brazilian Amazon after an area more than double the size of New York City was cleared of trees.

The deforestation in the region has peaked since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019. He has weakened environmental protection laws of the country stating that they hinder economic development.