Amazon has worst August of fires in 12 years | Environment

Amazon has worst August of fires in 12 years | Environment
Amazon has worst August of fires in 12 years | Environment

This is the fourth consecutive year of the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) that the number is above the 28k mark.

The index is also above the historical average for the month, which is 26,000 (Inpe’s calculation does not consider the current year’s values).

as showed the g1, on August 22nd, the biome had the worst day of fires in 15 years, with 3,358 outbreaks registered in the interval, a number almost three times greater than the “Day of Fire”.

The number is so high that, according to the European Union’s Copernicus environmental monitoring program, it is “seriously” affecting air quality in South America.

In the image below taken by a satellite of the project, it is possible to see the high levels of carbon monoxide (CO, gas that is released by fires) for the region between August 20 and 24.

2 of 6 Air quality in South America between August 20 and 24 — Photo: European Union, images from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P

Air quality in South America between August 20 and 24 — Photo: European Union, images from Copernicus Sentinel-5P

For Suely Araújo, senior specialist in public policies at the Observatório do Clima, the result of all the indices is disastrous: “Too much environmental degradation, death of wild fauna, respiratory diseases in the population in different age groups”.

“Amazon forest fires are setting records this year in a combination of drought, explosion of deforestation – driven by an ecocidal federal government that sees environmental policy as a mere obstacle to be removed – and inappropriate use of fire associated with deforestation itself,” assesses Araújo, who was also a former president of IBAMA.

In relation to the fires accumulated from the beginning of the year to August, the Amazon adds 46,022 records. Last year, the same period had 39,424 fires.

Compare in the chart below.

Fires in the Amazon in August

August 2022 was the worst month since 2010

Source: INPE

Fire season usually takes place in the Amazon between June and October, but ranchers, prospectors and land grabbers clear the forest and prepare to burn it throughout the year.

This year, the Legal Amazon (a region that corresponds to 59% of the Brazilian territory and which encompasses the area of ​​9 states – Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins and a part of Maranhão) had the highest deforestation in 15 years, according to Imazon data.

3 of 6 IBAMA Brigadiers try to control photos of a fire during a fire in an area of ​​the Amazon Forest in Apuí, in the state of Amazonas (photo from September 2021). — Photo: REUTERS/Bruno Kelly/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

Brigade members from IBAMA try to control photos of a fire during a fire in an area of ​​the Amazon Forest in Apuí, in the state of Amazonas (photo from September 2021). — Photo: REUTERS/Bruno Kelly/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

For Greenpeace Brazil, the numbers are not surprising. “What we feared and warned about happened!”, declares the coordinator of the NGO’s Amazon campaign, André Freitas.

“After almost four years of a clear and objective anti-environmental policy on the part of the federal government, we see that with the imminence of the end of this mandate – which is being one of the darkest periods for the environment – land grabbers and all those who have operated illegally, saw a perfect scenario to advance over the forest”.

Consequence of deforestation

In June, a document obtained by the g1 pointed out that the Bolsonaro government’s Ministry of the Environment jeopardized the continuity of the Amazon Fund, created about 14 years ago to finance actions to reduce emissions generated by forest degradation and deforestation.

Angela Kuczach, executive director of the National Network for Protected Areas, explains that fire is the end of deforestation, and one thing is a consequence of the other.

“First the trees are felled with a stream, or in another way, and then the area is set on fire, that is, the previous deforestation data now reflects on the size of the fires”, she explains.

4 of 6 Image taken on August 30, overflight in the Amacro region (Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia), in an area with about 8,000 hectares of deforestation – the largest in 2022 – that has been burning for days. Exact location is yet to be georeferenced by Greenpeace. — Photo: © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace / Publicity

Image taken on August 30, overflight in the Amacro region (Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia), in an area with about 8,000 hectares of deforestation – the largest in 2022 – that has been burning for days. Exact location is yet to be georeferenced by Greenpeace. — Photo: © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace / Publicity

In early August, data from Inpe’s Deter system, which produces daily signs of changes in forest cover for areas larger than 3 hectares (0.03 km²), also indicated that the accumulated deforestation alerts in 2022 in the Legal Amazon were 8,590 km², the third consecutive year of the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) that alert them were above the mark of 8 thousand.

“This increase in fires this year, especially in the Amazon, is a reflection of the lack of enforcement of environmental laws in Brazil. In recent years, we have systematically witnessed environmental laws and enforcement processes being disrespected,” adds the expert.

The 10 municipalities with the highest number of fires in Brazil in 2022, up to August, are Altamira (Pará), São Félix do Xingu (Pará), Apuí (Amazonas), Novo Progresso (Pará), Porto Velho (Rondônia ), Lábrea (Amazonas), Colniza (Mato Grosso), Novo Aripuanã (Amazonas), Itaituba (Pará) and Manicoré (Amazonas).

See the graph below for the number of hotspots accumulated this year for each of these municipalities.

Fire outbreaks by municipality – 2022

Only the 10 municipalities with the highest number of outbreaks accumulated until August are listed.

Source: Inpe

The use of fire in the biome has been prohibited since June 23, when the federal government published a decree suspending the practice for 120 days in the national territory. Therefore, according to Greenpeace, the “alarming” numbers of fires recorded in the Amazon show that “there is no serious policy to combat deforestation and forest burning.”

5 of 6 Overflight in the Amacro region (Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia), in an area with about 8,000 hectares of deforestation – the largest in 2022 – that has been burning for days. — Photo: © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace / Publicity

Overflight in the Amacro region (Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia), in an area with about 8,000 hectares of deforestation – the largest in 2022 – that has been burning for days. — Photo: © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace / Publicity

The NGO, which carried out an overflight monitoring of fires and deforestation in the Amacro region (acronyms for Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia) and caught the largest deforestation in the Amazon in the last year: about 8,000 hectaresequivalent to 11,000 football fields burning (see image above) highlights that, of the total number of hotspots registered in the year until August 31 – 46,022, there was a increase of 16.7% compared to last year, highest cumulative number for the period since 2019.

Of this total, 43% occurred in only ten municipalities in the Amazon, five of which are located in the Amacro region, “considered the new frontier of expansion of the economy of destruction in the Amazon and which has been accelerating the rates of deforestation and fires”.

6 of 6 Overflight in the Amacro region (Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia), in an area with about 8,000 hectares of deforestation – the largest in 2022 – that has been burning for days. — Photo: © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace / Publicity

Overflight in the Amacro region (Amazonas, Acre and Rondônia), in an area with about 8,000 hectares of deforestation – the largest in 2022 – that has been burning for days. — Photo: © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace / Publicity

“Another relevant factor is the increase in fires on public lands. Of the total number of hotspots, 13.8% took place in Conservation Units (UCs), and 5.9% in Indigenous Lands (TI). is that more than 10,600 fires, about ¼ of the total, occurred in public forests that were not intended. Another indication of the advance of land grabbing”, highlights Greenpeace.

O g1 contacted the Ministry of the Environment for the ministry to comment on the numbers, but received no response until the last update of this report.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Amazon worst August fires years Environment

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