Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has hit a monthly record of 1,034.4 square kilometres in June, the government reported.
The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation revealed in a report on Friday that deforestation in June was 10.6 per cent higher than in the same month of 2019, and 24.31 per cent higher than May this year, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to the report, the world’s largest rainforest witnessed 2,248 fires in June, the highest level for the month of June in 13 years.
Additionally, areas totalling 3,069.57 square kilometres were deforested in the first half of the year, an increase of 25 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
The figures came at a time when the Brazilian government is receiving harsh criticism from the international community for its alleged lack of commitment in combating the destruction of the Amazon.
On Thursday, Vice President Hamilton Mourao led a meeting with a group of international investors, who publicly expressed their disagreement with the country’s environmental policy.
The official stated that investors had demanded environmental policies that produced results, and he promised a stronger effort from the government in reducing high rates of deforestation.
Deforestation in the region has soared since President Jair Bolsonaro took office last year, according to conservation groups.
He has argued that more farming and mining in protected areas of the forest were the only way to lift the region out of poverty.
Bolsonaro’s environmental policies have been widely condemned but he has rejected the criticism, saying Brazil remains an example for conservation.