According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), deforestation in the Amazon, from August 2015 to July 2016 was 7989 km², 29% higher than in the same period last year.
The destruction of the so-called "world lung" released into the atmosphere, according to INPE calculations, 586 million tons of carbon, equivalent to eight years of emissions from all cars circulating in Brazil.
With this behavior the country is away from the goals established by the last UN-sponsored climate summit and is against the developments that were being followed to reduce Amazon deforestation. In fact, it is the first time in 12 years that the loss of these forest areas shows a significant increase, generating almost 50% of greenhouse gases into the global atmosphere.
Losses in terms of virgin tropical forest area have resulted in agricultural or grazing land. However, almost half of the slaughter of these areas occurs illegally. In Brazil, this type of deforestation has as its main objective the agricultural production that results from the growing demand for meat, skins and their derivatives driven by the global growth of the population and the expansion of the middle class, particularly in Southeast Asia. Although the country has had considerable success in slowing the rate of loss of tropical forest to agricultural land, if this trend continues the consequences will not only be felt in terms of climate change but also in an irreparable loss in terms of forest diversity.
According to an unprecedent study recently published in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), based on data from its network of 500 botanical gardens around the world, it estimates the loss of 60,065 tree species in the world, of which 14% are found in Brazilian territory. According to this non-governmental organization, Brazil is thus the country with the highest biodiversity of trees in the world, that is, there are 8,715 species of arboreal trees that only exist in its territory and that represent 14% of the 60,065 that exist in the entire planet. Second in the list is Colombia, with 5,776 species, and Indonesia, with 5,142. The list is expected to be used to identify rare and endangered species and to prevent extinction, but also to reinforce the important role that the Amazon jungle plays in the planet.