Data from the Brazilian Space Agency’s deforestation monitoring system shows the area of Amazon forest cleared last month was five times that of January last year.
The 270 square miles destroyed in four weeks is the highest level of deforestation recorded since the service was launched in 2016. The news comes despite pledges by more than 100 governments at Cop26 in Glasgow last year to reverse deforestation by 2030.
Cristiane Mazzetti, Greenpeace Brazil, said: “Even in January, when deforestation is usually lower due to the rainy season in the Amazon region, destruction has skyrocketed.”
Elena Polisano, senior forests campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Less than three months ago governments including the UK and Brazil signed a declaration at Cop26 to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
“Decades of inaction by governments and companies have created the crisis the Amazon now faces. These alarming figures are fresh evidence of the need for bold action not warm words to prevent the climate, humanitarian and wildlife catastrophe that losing the Amazon and other vital forests would cause.”
In October, Thaline Iny Karaja arrived in Glasgow after travelling from the Brazilian town of Santa Isabel to urge Cop26 delegates to protect the Amazon.
She told The Sunday Post: “Even at 26, I have seen the landscape change hugely from that of my childhood. We all must remember that preserving the tropical landscape will help to protect both people and animals now under threat.
“Indigenous people are under siege.”
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