Amazon Deforestation Soars: One And A Half Soccer Fields Destroyed Every Minute

Environmentalists attribute the sharp increase on Brazil's president and his 'relaxed controls on deforestation'
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769.1 sq km of rainforest were lost last month (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest soared by more than 60 percent in June compared to the same month last year - equating to the size of one and a half soccer fields being destroyed every single minute.

According to data from Brazil's National Institute of Space Research (INPE), 769.1 square kilometers of rainforest were lost last month - an increase of 280.7 sq km from June 2018.

'Relaxed controls'

The rise in Amazon deforestation has been linked to Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro - who has been accused of having 'relaxed controls on deforestation'.

"Over the past six months, Bolsonaro and his environment minister have been devoting themselves to the dismantling of the Brazilian environmental governance and neutralizing regulatory bodies", Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the environment NGO network Observatorio do Clima said to CNN.

'Openly anti-environmental'

"The strong indication of the increase in the deforestation rate during the government of Jair Bolsonaro shouldn't surprise anyone...

"It's, after all, the accomplishing of a campaign promise: Bolsonaro was the first president in all of Brazil's history to be elected with an openly anti-environmental and anti-indigenous speech."

Earlier this year, activists from the Climate Save Movement organized a protest outside the Brazillian Embassy in London, raising awareness of Amazon deforestation.

The demonstration came after Bolsonaro's announcement that the regulation and creation of new indigenous reserves will be transferred to the agriculture ministry.