Amazon deforestation highest in over a decade


São Paulo, November 18 – Amazon deforestation from August 2018 to July 2019 is up 30% compared with the same period in 2017/18 according to official data released today [1] by the Brazilian Space Research Institute (INPE). Despite the data period ending just before this year’s fires were at their height, deforestation reached 9,762 km² and is the highest recorded since 2008.

Preliminary figures from August to October 2019, when fires peaked, indicate there are now double the number of areas with deforestation warnings compared to the same period in 2018. This is according to data from DETER, an index developed by INPE that surveys alerts of changes in forest cover in the Amazon.

Cristiane Mazzetti, Greenpeace Brazil’s Amazon Campaigner, said:
“President Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental agenda favours those who practice environmental crimes, and encourages violence against forest people. His administration is trashing practically all the work that has been done in recent decades to protect the environment and end deforestation.”

Even in the face of an alarming scenario for the Amazon, with increased fires, deforestation, invasions of protected areas, and violence against indigenous peoples, the government hasn’t presented any consistent policy to protect the forest and its peoples; on the contrary, it is taking the side of environmental crime.

Mazzetti continued: “High deforestation rates and lack of governance costs lives and positions the country against the fight to tackle climate change. It also damages the economy, as the international market does not want to buy products contaminated with environmental destruction and violence.”

We need immediately to reverse the ongoing environmental destruction and demand an effective plan to combat deforestation. Companies that buy products such as animal feed and cattle from Brazil must also take a stand against Bolsonaro’s disastrous anti-environmental policy and accelerate their efforts to remove deforestation from their supply chains altogether. 

PHOTOS AND CLIP REEL of Greenpeace’s Amazon flyover from September 2019:




[1] Data from the Satellite Deforestation Monitoring Project in the Legal Amazon (PRODES) can be found here:

What's next?