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The Brazilian Amazon records a record number of fires

The Brazilian Amazon records a record number of fires

In the biodiverse tropical Cerrado region south of the Amazon, 3,578 fires have been recorded, according to the space agency, a 35 percent increase from May 2021.

  • fires in brazil

Last May, Brazil witnessed the largest number of fires in the Amazon rainforest in a month since 2004, and the highest monthly number ever in the Cerrado region, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

In this context, the Brazilian National Agency for Space Research said that satellite images showed 2,287 fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon basin during May, an increase of 96 percent compared to May 2021, which reinforces concerns about the future of the world’s largest rainforest.

This is the second highest number recorded in a month since 2004, when 3,131 fires were counted.

In the biodiverse tropical Cerrado region south of the Amazon, 3,578 fires have been recorded, according to the space agency, up 35 percent from May 2021.

This number in May is the highest since documentation of the fires began in June 1998.

Environmental activists considered these figures further evidence of the increase in fires and deforestation during the era of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

“These numbers are not accidental data, but part of an ongoing upward trend in environmental destruction in the past three years as a result of intentional government policy,” Mauricho Vojvodic, executive director of the World Wildlife Fund in Brazil, told reporters.

Experts consider that the fires in the Amazon, a major buffer zone against climate change, are being deliberately lit for later use of the land for agriculture and livestock.

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Bolsonaro, closely allied with Brazil’s powerful agribusiness sector, has faced international criticism over the sharp increase in deforestation in the Amazon region.

Since Bolsonaro took office in 2019, the average deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75 percent over the previous decade, according to official figures.