Amazon deforestation breaks new monthly record


São Paulo, May 7, 2021 – Rainforest destruction in the Brazilian Amazon has hit a new record high for the month of April, according to the latest government data.

Figures from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), released today, show that last month at least 58,000 hectares of rainforest, an area the size of the Isle of Man, were lost to deforestation, the largest ever recorded for the month of April and an increase of 43% compared to 2020.

Commenting on the latest developments, Rômulo Batista, Amazon campaigner at Greenpeace Brazil, said:  

“What’s already a bad situation is getting even worse. Despite the promises made at the latest climate summit, the Bolsonaro government continues to systematically attack the key agencies in charge of protecting the Amazon, hampering their operation, cutting budgets and bringing in absurd laws to encourage even more deforestation. If nothing is done, deforestation will continue to rise, pushing the Amazon ever closer to the brink of collapse. This would have devastating consequences for Indigenous People, wildlife and global efforts to stop the climate emergency.”  

Greenpeace has been calling on UK supermarkets to cut ties with JBS, the world’s largest meat-packing company and one of the worst forest destroyers in the Amazon. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Burger King, McDonald’s and KFC are still buying meat from JBS subsidiaries in the UK.

Commenting on the news, Greenpeace UK’s head of forests Anna Jones said:

“What’s unfolding in the Amazon is nothing short of a slow-motion environmental catastrophe with devastating consequences for people, wildlife and the global climate. And behind the wholesale destruction of the world’s largest rainforest, there’s one commodity that looms larger than all others, and that’s meat. It’s shocking to think that UK supermarkets like Tesco are still funding some of the worst forest destroyers in the Amazon just as the crisis escalates. If Britain’s top retailers want to play a role in saving the Amazon, then they should start by ditching suppliers like JBS and its subsidiaries now.”   



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