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Between January 1 and September 30, the accumulated volume of deforestation in the Amazon has already reached 7,853 km², a 93% increase over the first nine months of 2018, when the forest devastation reached 4,075 km².
Last month alone, from September 1 to 30, deforestation rates in the Amazon region increased by 96% over September 2018. There were 1,447 square kilometers of deforestation, compared to 739.46 km² in the same range as 2018. In September 2017, the volume reached 691 km². Pará continues to lead the clearing of forests. Of the 1,447 km² devastated in September, 497 km² were concentrated in Pará.
The data are from the Real Time Legal Amazon Deforestation Detection System (Deter), a tool of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) that serves to guide enforcement actions against deforestation. three categories of vegetation cut that the government itself identifies as effective deforestation: deforestation with exposed soil, deforestation with vegetation, and mining. Deter's information is based on deforestation alerts, data that are consolidated annually by the government through the Prodes system. In September, the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo showed that in the first month of action by the Armed Forces in the Amazon fires decreased, but there was a reduction in the number of seized assets, such as logs and chainsaws, as well as infringement notices. In addition, deforestation numbers continue to advance, according to official monitoring data.
In recent days, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has even celebrated Inpe's indexes, which showed a fall in September compared to August. Monitoring deforestation prompted a crisis in the government after President Jair Bolsonaro called Inpe's data liars. The questions led to the dismissal of the former director of the institute Ricardo Galvão in early August. The resignation has prompted criticism from Brazilian and foreign scientists to the government. Minister Salles has said he plans to use a private system since the beginning of the year. In July, he used private technology imagery to counter captures taken by Deter – Inpe's deforestation alert system – and display what would be inaccuracies in measurements. The Planet system is the same that starts to run in the state of Mato Grosso and has been tested in Pará, as shown by the state.
Salles changes tone and says deforestation 'is a real problem that needs to be tackled'
On Friday, 11, Minister Salles decided to change the tone regarding the data obtained by Inpe on the alarming rates of deforestation in the Amazon region. Asked by the report, he avoided putting technical information in check, as it has in recent months. "It is clear that we have a real problem and that it needs to be resolved. Regardless of the percentage, what we need to do is to advance policies to combat illegal deforestation. .This goes through the matter of supervision and monitoring, "he said.
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