A cattle rancher in Brazil.
Weakened environmental standards, a lapse in law enforcement, and low levels of compliance with zero deforestation commitments led to the loss of more than 90,000 hectares of forest in the Amazon last year, according to an analysis by the Brazilian environmental watchdog Imazon.
The recent study by Imazon, which uses remote sensing, identified 2,552 deforested areas in 2017 either within protected areas in the Amazon or less than 10 kilometres from their borders. The study pinpointed these three factors as the leading underlying cause.
The survey also found that conservation areas – which includes parks and indigenous reservations – in the Brazilian Amazon have taken the place of agrarian reform settlements as the second main hotspot for deforestation, only behind private properties.
Imazon’s Antônio Victor Fonseca told O Eco, a Brazilian environmental news agency, that “protected areas are now the main targets” for deforestation.