July 30, 2019
New government data in Brazil shows that deforestation in the Amazon has dramatically increased since the far-right former military officer Jair Bolsonaro became president in January. Brazil has lost more than 1,300 square miles of forest cover this year, and the pace of deforestation is increasing. One report claims that the equivalent of three soccer fields are being deforested every minute in the Amazon. In June, deforestation increased by 88% over the same month last year. The drastic spike is due to Bolsonaro’s rolling back of regulations and allowing illegal land invasions, logging and burning. Climate scientists say the protection of the Amazon rainforest is crucial in the global effort to fight climate change. Meanwhile, residents of a remote indigenous village in the Amazon say at least 10 heavily armed gold miners in military uniforms raided their community last week, stabbing Wajapi tribe leader Emyra Wajapi to death. We speak to Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of Climate Observatory, a network of Brazilian civil society organizations.