Site icon Conservation news

Amazon deforestation is off to the fastest start to a year since 2008

Global Forest Watch forest cover change alerts near Porto Velho in the State of Rondônia, Brazil in 2022.

Global Forest Watch forest cover change alerts near Porto Velho in the State of Rondônia, Brazil in 2022.

  • Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is off to the fastest start for the first half of any year since 2008 according to government data published today.
  • Deforestation alert data from Brazil’s national space research institute INPE shows that 3,988 square kilometers of forest have been cleared within the Brazilian Amazon since January 1, a 17 percent rise over last year.
  • Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached a 15-year high in 2021.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is off to the fastest start for the first half of any year since 2008 according to government data published today.

Deforestation alert data from Brazil’s national space research institute INPE shows that 3,988 square kilometers of forest have been cleared within the Brazilian Amazon since January 1, a 17 percent rise over last year, when deforestation ultimately reached the highest annual total since 2006. The last time deforestation in the region topped 4,000 square kilometers in the first six months of a year was 2008.

DETER deforestation alerts for Jan 1 through Jun 30 since 2008. DETER in INPE’s deforestation monitoring system.

According to INPE’s deforestation alert system (DETER), 1,120 square kilometers of forest was cleared in June 2022, the highest for any June on record. INPE started publishing such data on a monthly basis in 2007.

The data comes as the Amazon heads into the height of its deforestation season, which typically run from May through September, when rain across much of the region is at a minimum. For the past 15 years, deforestation has normally peaked in July.

Average monthly deforestation detected by DETER, Apr 2007-Jun 2022

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been on an upward trend since 2012, reversing a near-decade-long decline in the rate of forest clearing. About 20% of the Brazilian Amazon’s rainforest has been lost since the 1970s.

Scientists have warned that the Amazon may be approaching a tipping point where rainfall declines precipitously, leading to large-scale die-off of the region’s rainforest.

Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, 2006-2021 according to INPE. .

Header image: Global Forest Watch forest cover change alerts near Porto Velho in the State of Rondônia, Brazil in 2022.