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The sky of Manaus covered in smoke from the fires in the Amazon region

Credit: Alberto César Araújo/Amazônia Real

21 Aug 22

Devastation in the Amazon: Smoke engulfs the region as deforestation breaks new record

Illegal fires in the south of Amazonas and southwest of Pará states have compromised the air quality of several cities in the region, where a toxic cloud of smoke has taken over the skies. Among the municipalities hit were Altamira and Novo Progresso in Pará, and the capital of Amazonas, Manaus. According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), in August, 16,088 fires were registered in the Amazon.

The Institute of Man and the Environment of the Amazon (Imazon), which monitors the biome via the Deforestation Alert System (SAD), pointed to the record devastation recorded in the last 12 months. From August 2021 to July 2022, 10,781 km² of forest were cut down, an area equivalent to seven times the city of São Paulo. This is the largest deforested area in the last 15 years for the period.

For the Institute, the data is especially alarming, given the global climate scenario. “The increase in deforestation directly threatens the lives of traditional peoples and communities and the maintenance of biodiversity in the Amazon. In addition to contributing to greater carbon emissions in a period of climate crisis,” said Bianca Santos, a researcher at Imazon.

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