Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest is at its highest in 15 years. A report from the Brazilian Space Research Agency (INPE) showed that deforestation increased by 22% over the year.

Amazonian forests absorb huge amounts of carbon and slow the rate of global warming. According to the latest data, in the period 2020-21, about 13,235 sq. km of forests is a record figure since 2006.

Scientists note that Brazil was among the countries pledging to end and compensate for deforestation by 2030 during the COP26 climate summit. The Amazon is home to about three million species of plants and animals and is home to about a million indigenous people.

Brazilian Environment Minister Joaquim Leite added that the data presented a “challenge”: “We need to be more decisive about the Amazon.” However, he said that the data “does not accurately reflect the situation over the past few months.”

At the Glasgow climate conference, Brazil was among the countries that signed a major agreement to end deforestation. The commitment included funding – £ 14 billion from public and private funds. Some of this funding will go to developing countries to rehabilitate damaged land, fight wildfires and support indigenous communities.

Activists have previously uncovered a link between deforestation in the Amazon and international timber supply chains. In 2020, a Greenpeace investigation uncovered a link between massive deforestation in the region and food sold in UK supermarkets and restaurants.