Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon hit a record last month, May, a new report released by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) on Friday showed. A total of 1,180 square kilometers of the Amazon was scrapped off its green, marking a 41 percent increase compared to the year-on-year stats.
The deforestation rates have been taking over records for 3 consecutive months with the initial count of deforested areas exceeding 1,000 square kilometres, DPA news agency reported.
Though the Amazon, the world's biggest rainforest, is a major extractor of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it is exposed to risks day after day, says Greenpeace Brazil.
About 60 percent of the rainforest is in Brazil and alarming records have been set in the past three dry seasons, INPE said. The data is particularly worrying because May marks the beginning of the dry season, when the practice of clear-cutting to clear trees from sites accelerates in the Amazon region.
"This is worrying because May is the start of the dry season when devastation intensifies in a large part of the Amazon region," said the Climate think tank Observatorio de Clima. The NGO warned that if this trend continues for the next two months, the annual rate of deforestation for 2021, which is measured from August to July, could hit an unprecedented high.
Earlier, John Kerry, a US-based climate envoy called on Brazil to help fight climate change and make efforts to preserve the Amazon region.
Media and several environmental NGOs have raised serious questions of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's commitments to protecting the rainforest and have been facing criticisms for goading the Amazon region to economic exploitation. Bolsonaro has also been accused of creating a climate where farmers feel encouraged to take land for their own agricultural use. Allegations include environmental authorities that carry out inspections have been deliberately weakened and are doing nothing to stop environmental violations.