Imazon detects almost 100% increase in deforestation of the Amazon in June


Satellite data show that the felling of trees has skyrocketed in June 2016, especially in Pará and Mato Grosso


7/22/201611:12-updated 7/22/2016 12:22


Incêndio na floresta amazônica, na região de Paragominas, Pará (Foto: Adam Ronan/Divulgação)
Fire on the Amazon rainforest, in the region of Paragominas, Pará (photo: Adam Ronan/Disclosure)


Bad news for the Amazon rainforest. After a few years with the stagnant rates of deforestation, deforestation came roaring back. Data published on Friday (22) by the Institute of man and the Environment (Imazon) show that the Amazon lost 972 square kilometers of forests in June 2016, an increase of 97% in comparison with June 2015. The Imazon makes independent monitoring of deforestation, through satellite images.


The explosion of deforestation in the Amazon in June may be related to cloud cover in the area. According to Adalberto Verissimo, one of the authors of the study, a large amount of clouds covered the region in previous months. In June, these clouds dissipated, and the satellites were able to capture all the deforestation. So, part of the deforestation being registered now can have happened in previous months.


If this is the case, the increase registered in June was already planned. Still, I am concerned. We’ve had bigger increases in the recent past. It is worrying, but it’s not stratospheric. The concern is the fact that we are living a very strong El Niño in the region and hence deforestation could increase much in the coming months. There are many degraded forests that are vulnerable to fire this time of year, “says Veríssimo. Nasa itself has published data recently showing that Amazon may face its worst fire season this year.


According to Imazon, the deforestation concentrated in four States: Pará, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, and Rodônia. The Stop is the most extreme case. Half of all was cleared in June happened in the State, and Altamira was the city that more desmatou. Altamira faced a population boom in recent years caused by the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant.


The increase prompted the authorities of Pará mobilized. According to the State Secretariat for the environment, teams are being directed to the critical areas and irregular areas will be detained. Next Tuesday (26), the Secretaries of the environment of the Amazon States will meet with the Minister of the environment, Sarney Filho.


According to Verissimo, the situation even worse. The bigger problem may be to come, between August and October, when the Amazon summer reaches its peak. Drier. More fire. Greater chance of large-scale deforestation.

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