Brazilian Amazon deforestation surges

Amazon Deforestation Shot Up by 278% Last Month, Satellite Data Show

Amazon Deforestation Shot Up by 278% Last Month, Satellite Data Show

Right wing Brazilian President Bolsonaro has repeatedly criticized the work of the INPE, and most recently fired the agency's president Ricardo Galvao in early August.

It said a first step would be to block payment of 35 million euros ($40 million) for forest conservation and biodiversity programmes until the rate of decline attained encouraging levels once again.

Data from INPE, an institution of global repute, shows that deforestation has increased 40 percent in the last twelve months compared with the same period a year ago. According to the Associated Press, this is the single biggest surge in rainforest destruction since INPE began monitoring deforestation with its current methodology in 2014.

European leaders have been vocal in their criticism of the government's environmental policies.

"They are trying to forcefully implement an agenda of deconstruction, of deregulation, with total disrespect for institutions, or science", Ribeiro added. "Since the (end of the military regime), in 1985, we'd never seen anything like it". Since he was sworn into office on January 1, he has shown on multiple occasions that he will stick to his campaign promises.

Over the past seven months, Bolsonaro and Salles have worked to weaken environmental legislation. Bolsonaro also said he was working on a proposal to regularize illegal mining in protected areas.

Germany will partially suspend funds sent to Brazil to finance projects aimed at preserving the Amazon forest due to increasing deforestation, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday. Galvão defended the institute's deforestation data and responded to Bolsonaro's personal attacks: "He [Bolsonaro] behaves as if he were in a tavern", said Galvão on July 20. Galvao has strongly denied manipulating statistics, and has received backing from scientists and academics since his dismissal.

During a recent public appearance, Bolsonaro joked that if the "absurd" deforestation numbers were true, "then I am Captain Chainsaw!"

The DETER system, which uses satellite imagery to monitor deforestation in Brazil for the INPE, has been in use since 2004.

The government will launch a campaign to defend Brazilian exports, he told reporters.