Brazil government hid surge in deforestation ahead of UN summit

According to a report, statistics showing a drastic rise in Amazon Rainforest deforestation by Brazilian authorities were kept under wraps at the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Brazil amazon deforestation
Between August 2020 – July 2021 the Amazon lost 5,100 miles of rainforest.
AP

Days before the COP26 summit, which began on Oct. 31, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro met with a group of federal ministers in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, and decided to withhold studies that deforestation had increased by more than 20 percent in 2020-2021 until after the UN summit, according to the Associated Press, citing two ministers who were at the meeting.

The Amazon region lost 5,100 square miles of rainforest between August 2020 and July 2021 — a 22 percent increase and the worst in 15 years, according to government data from the country’s National Institute for Space Research released Thursday.

Jair Bolsonaro
Days before the COP26 summit, which began on Oct. 31, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro met with a group of federal ministers in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia.
Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

In the lead up to the Glasgow meeting, the Brazilian federal government launched a new ecological initiative, in an effort to project “responsible environmental stewardship” to the outside world.

One of the two ministers who participated in the presidential meeting told the AP that the decision to withhold the data was part of “a strategy to recover environmental credibility abroad.”

deforested area of Amazonia rainforest in Labrea, Amazonas state, Brazil.
Labrea is a state in Brazil that has a large area of Amazonia rainforest.
MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images

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