Not to be dramatic, but Brazil’s Amazon could cease to exist. Deforestation has risen at alarming rates in the past six months, reaching a record high. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported that “the world’s largest tropical rainforest lost 4,000 square kilometers (1,500 square miles) of the jungle since the beginning of the year, the worst numbers for that period since record-keeping began in 2016.” AP News reports, that “the extent is four times the size of New York City.” In 2021, it was 3,605 square kilometers.

Deforestation in Brazil has been slowly rising since 2013-

However, in the past few years, Brazilian President Bolsonaro has loosened environmental law enforcement with his promise to step up development in the Amazon. The law is now excusing once illegal activities carried out by ranchers, loggers, miners, and land grabbers in once legally protected areas and Indigenous lands.

Deforestation in Brazil-

Deforestation in Brazil is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. After loggers extract valuable wood, ranchers and land grabbers set fires to clear the land for agriculture. AFP News reports, that “more than 7,500 fires have been recorded since the start of the year, another 17 percent increase on 2021 and the worst numbers since 2010.” This is without Brazil having hit their dry season yet.

The future-

To date, the area destroyed in the first half of 2022 is 80% larger than the same period in 2018, the year before Bolsonaro took office, according to an analysis from the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, or IPAM, a Brazilian nonprofit.

Presidential elections, offering new hope for Brazil, will take place in October.