Brazil Travel
» Brazil Homepage
» Amazon


Advertising by Google

Deforestation of Amazon

The Ministry of Environment of Brazil released in May of 2005 the results of a survey about deforestation of the Amazon forest. The survey was based on satellite images captured by the National Institute for Spatial Research. The full text of the survey can be found here (in Portuguese only, PDF format).

According to the survey, 26,130 km2 of Brazilian Amazonia forest were destroyed between August 2003 and August 2004; the figure is still subject to adjustments.

If confirmed, this figure shows that in 2004 the Amazon had the largest area of deforestation since 1995, when 29,059 km2 were deforested. Before 1994, there were not satellite data available to estimate the forest damages.

The table below summarizes the deforested area, in square kilometers, over the past decade:

Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Area 14.896 29.059 18.161 13.277 17.383 17.259 18.226 18.165 23.266 24.430 26.130

The accumulated area of deforestation has reached now around 680,000 km2, approximately 17% of the Brazilian Amazonia forest.

The Brazilian Amazonia has an extension of approximately 5 million km2, constituting 59% of Brazilian territory. Amazon covers the following States of Brazil: Amazonas, Pará, Mato Grosso, Acre, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá, Tocantins and Maranhão.
For the second year, Mato Grosso was the State where most deforestation was observed; the state was responsible for almost 50% of the devastated area in 2004.
Of the eight states included in this survey, only two had increase in the deforested areas: Rondonia and Mato Grosso. These two States, combined with Pará, respond for 90% of the deforested area in the last year.

The table below shows a break down by States of the deforestation.

deforestation of Amazon
The table below shows the same data, in percentage figures.
area of deforestation

CONAMA (National Environmental Council), one of the agencies in charge of protecting Brazilian environment, summoned Blairo Maggi, governor of Mato Grosso, to explain the reasons of the increase in forest damaging.
Maggi is being charge by environmentalist groups of being too lenient with the Amazon exploiters. Since before being elected Governor, Maggi and family were the largest producers of soybean in Brazil and the world; the Maggi Group is one of the biggest companies in Brazil.

The Ministry released also the map below, showing the areas where deforestation was worse; in all the yellow areas, there was a damage of over 300 km2 of forests.

map of deforestation of Amazon

Back to Top