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Friday, January 22, 2021

Amazon deforestation reaches 12-year high, after over 11,000km2 of forest destroyed last year

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has risen to a 12-year high this year, according to new figures released yesterday.

A total of 11,088 square kilometres of forest was destroyed in Brazil’s share of the world’s biggest rainforest in the 12 months to August.

The figure is equivalent to an area larger than Jamaica, and was a 9.5% increase from the previous year, when deforestation also hit a more than decade-long high.

Forests such as the Amazon play a vital role in controlling climate change because they suck carbon from the atmosphere. However, when trees die or burn, they release their carbon back into the environment.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has presided over rising deforestation and wildfires since taking office in January 2019.

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