The world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, is seeing the highest rate of deforestation in a decade according to the latest government data from Brazil. As the BBC reports, 7,900 sq km (3,050 sq miles) of the Amazon’s rainforest was destroyed between August 2017 and July 2018. For comparison, that’s an area that’s many times larger than the land mass of some of the world’s largest cities, such as Manhattan and London.

These deforestation figures prompts concern about Brazil’s newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro, especially considering some of his campaign pledges. Among those pledges by Bolsonaro, according to the BBC, was “limiting fines for damaging forestry and to weaken the influence of the environmental agency.” The BBC has more:

The latest government data says most of the deforestation occurred in the states of Mato Grosso and Pará, and marked a 13.7% rise over last year’s figures. Mato Grosso is the top producer of grains in Brazil, and critics say expanding agriculture is also encroaching on the rainforest.

While the rate does mark a significant rise from last year, when the rate of deforestation dropped 16% in a 12-month period, it still marks a 72% drop from 2004, when the Brazilian federal government launched measures to combat deforestation. In that year, an area the size of Haiti – more than 27,000 sq km – was cleared from the rainforest.

Read the full story on BBC.

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