Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest reached a new high in October, according to data released on Friday, with land clearing in the region accelerating as the country transitions to a more conservation-friendly government.
According to preliminary government satellite data collected by space research agency Inpe, 903.86 square kilometres (348.98 square miles) were cleared in the region last month, the most since tracking began in 2015 and up 3.1% year on year.
From January to October, 9,494 square kilometres of land were cleared, which is more than 12 times the size of New York City and a record for the period, surpassing the previous high established in 2019 by 12.7%.
Incoming leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has promised to increase law enforcement in the Amazon to combat deforestation.
He will succeed far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who scaled back environmental regulations throughout his tenure.
According to annual statistics issued last year, deforestation has already reached a 15-year high under Bolsonaro.