Imazon's SAD bulletin on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon for May 2018. In May 2018, deforestation increased 73 percent compared with May 2017, when deforestation totaled 365 square kilometers. Graphic: Imazon

By Fabiano Maisonnave
20 June 2018

(Folha de S. Paulo) – The Jamanxim National Forest (Flona) recorded in two months more than double the amount of deforested area in the last year.

Located in the southwest of Pará, Flona lost 57 km2  of vegetation cover between April and May, according to the calculation of the NGO Imazon (Institute of Man and the Environment of the Amazon), based on satellite images.

This is a setback in efforts to curb deforestation in Flona, ​​located in the area of ​​influence of the BR-163, which connects Cuiabá to Santarém and is an important outlet for soybean in Mato Grosso.

Last year, Jamanxim recorded a 65.6% drop in deforestation, according to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Monitoring of Deforestation in Legal Amazon by Satellite (Prodes) Project. The calculation of 25 km2 takes into account the period between August 2016 and July 2017.

Responsible for the management of Flona, ​​ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation) has admitted that deforestation has once again climbed.

"This deforestation is associated with the process of land grabbing within the conservation unit, driven by real estate speculation and the advance of livestock activity that is happening in Flona," says the local authority, via the press office.

Jamanxim is the second conservation unit that suffers most from deforestation, behind only the Xingu Triunfo Environmental Protection Area (APA), which has lost 123 square kilometers since August of last year.

Flona has been the subject of intense controversy since the end of 2016, when the government Michel Temer (MDB) issued a provisional measure to reduce it, legalizing grileiros.

In Congress, this reduction was increased, reaching 37% of its 13,019 km2.

Pressured by environmentalists, the Planalto vetoed the modification and in July sent a new bill with a smaller decrease, 27% of the area.

"Flona is going through a vicious circle in which those interested in the areas occupied within this unit pressure their political representatives to propose and support projects for their reduction," says Heron Martins, an Imazon researcher.

"With each new project presented or positive signals from the government in relation to this reduction, the expectation is growing, which will increase the number of new illegal occupations in order to benefit from a possible legalization of these lands."

Martins says that deforestation also seeks to de-characterize the Flona as a conservation unit.

Flona Jamanxim has already lost 12.4% of its forest cover, most of it converted to pasture for extensive cattle ranching.

One of the beneficiaries of a possible reduction of Flona, ​​the mayor of Novo Progresso, Ubiraci da Silva (PSC), Macarrão, says that the bill is standing in Congress and will not be voted on this year.

For Macarrão, which claims 963 hectares of Flona, ​​without the reduction of the forest, the economy of Novo Progresso (1,717 km of Bethlehem) becomes unfeasible.

"Here, we are just a corridor. On one side, it's indigenous area. The side that has the production is here on the banks of the BR-163, and the Flona is close here. If the government doesn't give in, our city will be over, there'll be a trucking corridor anyway."

Flona do Jamanxim was created in 2006 under the Lula government to mitigate the impact of the unfinished asphalting of BR-163, an important channel for the outflow of Mato Grosso soybean via the Tapajós and Amazonas rivers in Pará.

The boundaries of Flona, ​​however, included areas of squatters and squatters, initiating a long process of negotiation with the state.

Based on a census, the ICMBio identified 236 occupants that fit the profile for regularization, such as the presence prior to 2004, in a total of 77 thousand hectares, but the associations claimed more land, generating impasse that dragged until reaching MP 756 , which provides for a reduction in forest protection.

Last year, only the expectation of opening the Flona do Jamanxim to the human occupation has already provoked the first invasion.

One group set up a camp to claim 41,000 hectares. [Translation by Google, with help from Microsoft.]

Alvo de controvérsia, floresta do Jamanxim, no Pará, tem alta no desmate


By Stefania Costa
20 June 2018

In May 2018, SAD detected 634 square kilometers of deforestation in the Amazon forest. In this bulletin, the fraction of deforestation between 1 and 10 hectares was 1% of the total detected (3 square kilometers). Considering only the alerts from 10 hectares, there was an increase of 73% in relation to May 2017, when deforestation totaled 365 square kilometers. In May 2018, deforestation occurred in Pará (48%), Mato Grosso (29%), Amazonas (15%), Rondônia (7%) and Acre (1%).

The degraded forests in the Amazon forest totaled 130 square kilometers in May 2018. In May 2017, the forest degradation detected was only 1 square kilometer. In May 2018 the degradation was detected only in the State of Pará.

In May 2018, the majority (56%) of deforestation occurred in private areas or under various stages of ownership. The remaining deforestation was recorded in Conservation Units (30%), Land Reform Settlements (13%) and Indigenous Lands (1%). [Translation by Google.]

The National Forest of the Jamanxim, the target of legal projects that aim to reduce its area, experienced increased deforestation during April and May 2018. In these two months, the destruction of the forest was twice as great as all of the deforestation detected in 2017. [Translated from the Imazon Facebook page.]

Boletim do desmatamento da Amazônia Legal (maio 2018) SAD

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