Amazon Jungle sees rise in deforestation

File photo showing an illegal deforestation project for soy production, in Brazil’s State of Mato Grosso.

New data show an increase in the rate of deforestation of the Amazon Jungle, a trend nearing a full yearâ„¢s reversal of progress in the fight against the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.

Satellite images showed 465 square kilometers (180 square miles) of deforestation taking place in May, an almost five-fold increase in forest loss relative to May 2012, Brazil’s National Space Research Institute, INPE, stated in a report on Friday.

Brazil accounted for most of the clearing, with 59 percent of the loss in the southern state of Mato Grosso known for its industrial-sized farms and cattle ranching.

The study also revealed a 14-percent increase in deforestation compared to last year.

Scientists and environmentalists said the trend marks a reversal in gains against deforestation in Brazil, though other Amazon countries also witnessed a rise in deforestation since 2011.

The reason is unknown, but experts attribute the deforestation to government infrastructure projects, environmental policy, and a rise in demand for soybeans and other Brazilian farm exports, which encourage ranchers to clear private land in the Amazon.

The Amazon rainforest covers territory belonging to nine nations, with more than 60 percent located in Brazil, followed by Peru with 13 percent, Columbia with 10 percent, and minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

GMA/SS

Republished with permission from: Press TV