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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Satellite mapping of the devastating fires that swept through the rainforest in August last year. NASA Earth Observatory / Joshua Stevens

By Jessica Rawnsley

Antonio Donato Nobre is passionate about the Amazon region and despairs about the level of deforestation taking place in what is the world's biggest rainforest.

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Land clearing by Digoel Agri. Pusaka

A new company has begun clearing rainforest in an area of Indonesia's easternmost Papua province earmarked to become the world's largest oil palm plantation, in a vast project that has been mired in allegations of lawbreaking.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

This combination of pictures shows portraits of (L to R up) Suwerika Waiapi, Eriana Aromaii and Sykyry Waiapi; (L to R down) Kurija Waiapi, Ruwana Waiapi and Siurima Waiapi at the Waiapi indigenous reserve in Amapa state, Brazil on Oct.14, 2017. The tiny Waiapi tribe is resisting moves by the Brazilian government to open the region of pristine rainforest known as Renca, National Copper Reserve to international mining companies. APU GOMES / AFP / Getty Images

Brazil's divisive President Jair Bolsonaro has taken another step in his bold plans to develop the Amazon rainforest.

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Pope Francis celebrates an opening Mass for the Amazon synod, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Massimo Valicchia / NurPhoto / Getty Images

by Justin Catanoso

Pope Francis, in an effort to reignite his influence as a global environmental leader, released an impassioned document Feb. 12 entitled Dear Amazon — a response to the historic Vatican meeting last autumn regarding the fate of the Amazon biome and its indigenous people.

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According to a new study the Amazon rainforest could die in 49 years and rapid deforestation is seen as the main culprit. luoman / E+ / Getty Images

Bigger ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest and the Caribbean coral reefs could be in danger of collapsing more rapidly than was previously assumed, a study has found.

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A lone burnt tree stands on a deforested area in the surroundings of Porto Velho, Rondonia State, in the Amazon basin in west-central Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019. CARL DE SOUZA / AFP via Getty Images

An extensive study that looked at a decade of carbon emissions found that nearly 20 percent of one of the world's largest carbon sinks is actually releasing carbon instead of capturing it, according tso the BBC.

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Drone image of the Mata Atlantica tropical rainforest in Brazil. FG Trade / E+ / Getty Images

Efforts to catalog the fast-declining biodiversity of tropical rainforests just got a $10 million boost via a new competition from XPRIZE, an organization that has more than a dozen competitions on topics ranging from spaceflight to oil cleanup over the past 25 years.

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A solitary Brazil nut tree standing by the highway in a cleared patch of rainforest. Colin McPherson / Corbis via Getty Images

By Liberty Vittert

This year, I was on the judging panel for the Royal Statistical Society's International Statistic of the Decade.

Much like Oxford English Dictionary's "Word of the Year" competition, the international statistic is meant to capture the zeitgeist of this decade. The judging panel accepted nominations from the statistical community and the public at large for a statistic that shines a light on the decade's most pressing issues.

On Dec. 23, we announced the winner: the 8.4 million soccer fields of land deforested in the Amazon over the past decade. That's 24,000 square miles, or about 10.3 million American football fields.

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

The deforestation rate in Brazil's Amazon rainforest is at its highest in more than a decade, CNN reported Tuesday.

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Aerial picture showing smoke from a fire billowing from the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, on Aug. 23. CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images

If current deforestation rates in the Amazon rainforest continue, the forest could be two years away from the "tipping point" after which it will no longer be able to sustain itself by making its own rain.

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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Planet Labs / Quartz

Mexico's president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ordered state-owned oil company, Pemex, to build an $8 billion oil refinery. So, the company has followed orders and razed protected mangrove trees to clear way for the controversial project, according to Quartz. Satellite images posted on Quartz show the cleared land to accommodate the construction.

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People hold puppets shaped as crows and reading BlackRock, a U.S. global investment management corporation on Dec. 17, 2019. PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP / Getty Images

A month and a half ago, BlackRock, the world's largest investment firm, made waves for choosing to divest from some coal investments, setting up funds that avoided fossil fuels, and saying it would only support corporate board members who factored the climate crisis into its decisions. While the initial announcement was met with some criticism by environmental activists, BlackRock's recent decisions have cast doubt on the seriousness of its commitments to help fight the global climate crisis.

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One way to improve the environmental impact of how people eat is to make it a point of conversation. TommL / Getty Images

Recent books like We Are the Weather advocate for considering how our dietary choices affect the climate crisis, but new research shows that most Americans are not discussing the environmental impacts of their diets with friend and family, as Inverse reported.

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Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency showing Colombian President Ivan Duque (2-L) speaking next to Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) and in front of Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo (2-R) and Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno (R), during a meeting with Indigenous leaders before the Presidential Summit for the Amazon at the National University in Leticia, department of Amazonas, Colombia, on Sept. 6. NICOLAS GALEANO / AFP / Getty Images
Brown bear fishing for salmon in creek at Pavlof Harbor in Tongass National Forest, Alaska. Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket / Getty Images

The Trump administration has moved one step closer to opening Earth's largest intact temperate rainforest to logging.

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A stock photo of fire in the Amazon; a record number of fires have burned there this year. Brasil2 / E+ / Getty Images

There are a record number of wildfires burning in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil's space agency has said. Their smoke is visible from space and shrouded the city of São Paulo in darkness for about an hour Monday afternoon, CBS news reported.

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Ruffed Lemur (Varecia Variegata), Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Toamasina Province, Madagascar. Insights / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Andrea L. Baden

The island of Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa hosts at least 12,000 plant species and 700 vertebrate species, 80% to 90% of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

Isolated for the last 88 million years and covering an area approximately the size of the northeastern United States, Madagascar is one of the world's hottest biodiversity hotspots. Its island-wide species diversity is striking, but its tropical forest biodiversity is truly exceptional.

Sadly, human activities are ravaging tropical forests worldwide. Habitat fragmentation, over-harvesting of wood and other forest products, over-hunting, invasive species, pollution and climate change are depleting many of these forests' native species.

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Using fire like this farmer to clear land in the Amazon will be banned in Brazil for 60 days. Stephanie Maze / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images Plus

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree Wednesday banning the use of fire to clear land in the Amazon rainforest for 60 days, CNN reported.

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Pixabay

By Manuella Libardi

Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.

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