Public lands that should be preserved and protected by the federal government had 3,700 km² of area deforested between August 2020 and July 2021. This represents 28% of all deforestation that occurred criminally in the period, according to an analysis by the Research Institute Environment of the Amazon (Ipam) obtained exclusively by the g1.
Altogether, among all the categories in which the Amazon areas can be classified, “non-destined public forests” were the ones that lost the most trees in the total of 13,000 km² of deforestation identified by the annual report of the Amazon Deforestation Monitoring Project Legal by Satellite (Prodes).
- A report showing a 22% increase in deforestation dates before COP26
- Indigenous land that had federal agents surrounded is the most deforested
According to Ipam, after “public land”, the categories that contributed the most negatively to the brand are “rural properties”, with 26%, and “settlements”, with 23%.
The institute explains that “the non-designated public forests they are areas in the Amazon that, by law, should be dedicated to protection or sustainable use.” However, “until now they have not had a specific destination and, therefore, they are a constant target of land grabbing”, warns Ipam.
“Deforestation in public forests has grown a lot in recent years. The government knows and it is its responsibility to inspect these areas”, explains the executive director of IPAM, André Guimarães.
The increase in deforestation on public lands is a result of the general increase: since 2015 the area devastated by tractors, chains and chainsaws has increased, reaching 10,129km² in 2019 and 10,851km² in 2020. The Prodes figures from the 2021 report point to the greatest deforestation since 2006 (see video from Jornal Nacional on the subject below.).
Legal Amazon has greater deforestation since 2006
The high rate of deforestation is at odds with the promises presented by the Brazilian delegation at the 26th Climate Conference in Glasgow, COP26, in Scotland:
- 15% reduction per year until 2024;
- 40% reduction per year in 2025 and 2026;
- 50% reduction in 2027;
- Zero illegal deforestation in 2028.
“How can the countries that went to COP26 believe when Brazil says it will end illegal deforestation in 2028? Non-tariff barriers, such as deforestation and its contribution to climate change, are a reality in international trade, and our country there is a serious risk of seeing markets close to our products”, says Guimarães.
Promises of ‘Brushing’ and Criticism
After the announcement of the 22% increase in deforestation in the Amazon, the Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Pereira Leite, said that the federal government will have a more “hardcore” action against environmental crimes and that the data does not reflect the federal action in recent months.
- We are going to be more ‘blunt’ in the fight against deforestation, says Environment Minister after a 22% rise
Leite’s promise was viewed with suspicion by entities and specialists. Analyzing data on devastation on public lands, the executive director of IPAM, André Guimarães, points out that Brazil knows how to reduce deforestation.”
“(The country) has done this before and can do it again. Planning and structuring actions are needed. From the moment the current government consistently chooses to ignore the lessons of the past and insist on paths that have the opposite effect, it is about irresponsibility.” – André Guimarães, executive director of Ipam
- Higher deforestation rate in the Amazon in 15 years coincides with lower number of IBAMA assessments