Brazil fires increased by more than 12% in one year

Brazil fires increased by more than 12% in one year

Violet Field inPlanetJan 5, 2021 2 min read0 views

In particular, fires have increased by 120% in the Pantanal region

A fire is seen from the sky in the Amazon, August 28, 2019. - Joao LAET / AFP

Forest fires are at their highest for ten years in Brazil. They increased by 12.7% in one year, a record, of which almost half is in the Amazon, according to statistics released this Sunday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

The Brazilian Amazon has indeed recorded 103,000 fires in 2020, an increase of nearly 16% since 2019. In total, Brazil has suffered 222,798 fires, including more than 22,000 in the Pantanal (southern Amazon), the sanctuary of biodiversity. Fires there increased by 120% in 2020. The Amazon and the Pantanal are the two most valuable ecosystems in the world.

Agriculture mainly involved

The situation has only worsened since the election in 2019 of Jair Bolsonaro. The far-right president is in favor of opening up protected areas and indigenous territories to mining and farming. According to experts, the fires are started mainly by individuals seeking to expand grazing and cultivation areas.

In August 2020 alone, deforestation reached a larger area than Jamaica, a 12-year record, according to the INPE. Between 2000 and 2018, deforestation in the Amazon reached 513,016 km², amputating the largest tropical forest in the world by 8%, the Amazonian socio-environmental geographic information network (Raising) indicated on December 8.