Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon remained persistently high in July, but the country is nonetheless on track to experience the first year-over-year decline in rainforest destruction since 2017, according to data published today by the country’s national space research institute INPE. INPE’s satellite-based deforestation alert system has recorded 1,417 square kilometers (547 square miles) of forest clearing through the first 30 days of July compared to the previous period. Final figures for the month are expected next week. The data puts Brazil on track to register a slight decline of 5% in deforestation for the past 12 months relative to the year-earlier period, when forest loss reached the highest level since 2008. Final data for the August 1 through July 31 period Brazil uses for measuring annual deforestation is expected in November. Deforestation alert data from INPE and Imazon. Note: July 2021 data is only through July 30 for INPE and not yet available from Imazon, a group that independently tracks deforestation. But the new data won’t ease worries about trends in Earth’s largest rainforest. On Tuesday, Brazil’s lower house of Congress passed a bill that will allow squatters to more easily secure title to lands they occupy in the Amazon. Critics say the measure will effectively grant amnesty to “land grabbers” who have illegally chopped down forests, which are typically cleared for cattle pasture and agriculture as well as for land speculation purposes. Environmentalists and scientists are also concerned that forest loss could worsen in coming months due to abnormally…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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