2020 Will Be Worse Than 2019 For the Amazonian Forest

By Letizia L

After the fires that devastated the Amazonian forest last year, 2020 threatens to be an even worse year. If the first data in 2020 were to be confirmed in the coming months, this year could prove even worse than the last.

April 2019 is the month in which there was the largest ever loss of forest area in the Amazon. 529 square kilometers of Amazon forest were destroyed, 171% more than in April 2018. If the situation were to repeat this year, the smoke from the fires that already caused respiratory problems to a large portion of the Brazilian population last year could have even worse effects in times of COVID-19.

The Bolsonaro administration is a significant part of the problem, and certainly not the solution. Despite attempts to curb illegal cuts (which in the late 1990s occupied 80% of the market) by associations around the world and, more recently, by the Brazilian federal judges themselves, Bolsonaro continues to pursue its policy to support cuts.

The Brazilian president weakened the state bodies responsible for the control and reduction of the protected percentage of the Amazon forest to be able to open it to further cuts (and mining operations, another of the interest groups supported by the president himself). However, Bolsonaro’s legacy may have been just too destructive for the Amazon forest.