Brazilian Amazon deforestation surge is real despite Bolsonaro’s denial (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation June 2019 saw an 88 percent increase in Amazon deforestation over the same month in 2018. In the first half of July 2019, deforestation was 68 percent above that for the entire month of July 2018, according to INPE, Brazil’s federal monitoring agency.However, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January, is denying the accuracy of his own government statistics, calling INPE’s data “lies.”Like US President Trump, Bolsonaro has a history of denying scientific data and facts when they conflict with his ideology and policies, including the need for action to combat the escalating climate crisis.The conservation outlook for the rest of Bolsonaro’s four-year term is grim; he has in just six months dismantled Brazil’s environmental agencies, deforestation program and environmental licensing system. This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Brazil’s Amazonian deforestation in June 2019 was 88 percent greater than for the same month in 2018, and deforestation in the first half of July was 68 percent above that for the entire month of July in 2018. There is no reason to question INPE’s current deforestation numbers from the DETER (Detection of Deforestation in Real Time) satellite monitoring program.President Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked INPE — the Brazilian agency in charge of tracking deforestation — especially since July 19th, when he stated at a breakfast with journalists: “Regarding the issue of INPE, I hold the conviction that the data are lies.” Bolsonaro claims to be “surprised” by the great increase shown by the recent numbers and alleges that INPE’s finding is inconsistent with results from the first months of 2019. However, the differences are easily explained and do not invalidate the numbers that the president questions.In three of the first four months of 2019, deforestation rates were lower than in 2018, but these months occur during Amazonia’s rainy season when hardly any clearing takes place, making them essentially irrelevant to the annual total. Wide year-to-year variations in these months is normal, since variation in factors such as cloud cover (which is always great during the rainy season) can greatly influence the results.Data from Inpe’s Deter-B system show deforestation evolution, month by month, since 2015. The July value shown for 2019 is only for the deforestation in the first 15 days of the month and is already well above the historical series of values for the full month of July. Photo: Reproduction site Terrabrasilis / data INPE.June, on the other hand, is the first full dry-season month to occur in President Bolsonaro’s administration, and the great increase in clearing is both real and important. The result for May saw an increase of over 30 percent, providing a forewarning for June. Rather than being a “surprise,” as the president claims, the June result confirms the many anecdotal accounts of deforestation behavior on the ground, including numerous invasions of indigenous reserves by loggers and miners, and it fits with the expectation of conservationists that the climate of impunity that the administration’s rhetoric has promoted would lead to environmental crimes.The alerts provided by the DETER monitoring system have been an important part of Brazil’s deforestation control system in past years because they provide the locations of clearing activity in real-time, so that environmental authorities can stop the clearing, enforce laws and apply fines. However, in the current administration field inspections and the issuing of fines has been almost completely halted, and deforesters who are caught are, at most, simply informed of the regulations they are violating. Although DETER results are an important tool for protecting the forest, they will not have that effect unless the administration changes its policies on the environment.Amazon deforestation due to land conversion for cattle production in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.The great jump in deforestation can be attributed to both the rhetoric and to the actual measures of the Bolsonaro administration. Other factors that could provide alternative explanations have not changed greatly, such as Brazil’s (low) overall economic activity, the prices of soy and beef and the exchange rate of Brazilian currency against the US dollar.The Amazon conservation outlook for the remainder of President Bolsonaro’s four-year term is grim, as the administration has in only six months effectively dismantled Brazil’s environmental agencies, deforestation control program and environmental licensing system. A paper published in Environmental Conservation on July 24th provides extensive documentation of these setbacks.Skyrocketing deforestation looks bad for President Bolsonaro, who has a long record of contesting any scientific result that he views as inconvenient. Bolsonaro’s denial of anthropogenic global warming is the best-known example, and, as in the case of US President Trump, this denial is an affront to all science, not only to those of us who study climate change. Bolsonaro’s current attack on INPE for reporting inconvenient deforestation numbers is similarly an attack on all of Brazil’s scientific institutions.Banner Image: IBAMA environmental agency agents investigate illegal deforestation in Jamanxim National Forest in Pará state, Brazil. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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