Amazon Deforestation Soars as Pandemic Hobbles Enforcement

A rise in illegal deforestation heightens the risk of fires in the Brazilian rainforest even more destructive than those that drew global outrage last year.

Those recently cleared areas will almost certainly make way for a rash of fires even more widespread and devastating than the ones that drew global outrage last year. The newly cleared patches are typically set ablaze during the drier months of August to October to prepare the land for cattle grazing, often spiraling out of control into wildfires.

“The trend line is shooting upward compared to a year that was already historic in terms of a rise in deforestation,” said Ana Carolina Haliuc Bragan├ža, a federal prosecutor who leads a task force that investigates environmental crimes in the Amazon. “If state entities don’t adopt very decisive measures, we’re looking at a likely tragedy.”

Amazon Deforestation Soars as Pandemic Hobbles Enforcement

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