Deforestation of the Amazon has increased by 20 per cent in the past year, according to a non-governmental group that has been monitoring the rainforest for two decades.
Uncontrolled logging and land invasion has been blamed by analysts for much of the loss, some of which occurred in protected areas and Indigenous reserves.
Environmental group Imazon said satellite imagery showed the region lost 2,169 square kilometres (837 square miles) of forest between August and April. This is up from 1,807 square kilometres lost over the same period the previous year. The group's monitoring year begins with August, to match Brazil
's dry season, when logging rates are usually at their highest.
The country's president Jair Bolsonaro
and his environment minister Ricardo de Aquino Salles have questioned the reality of climate change
and spoken in favour of expanding mining and industrial farming into the Amazon and protected areas. Both believe environmental laws and activist groups often work to hinder Brazil’s economic potential.