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Northern region leads deforestation in Brazil

9 Of the 10 municipalities that deforested the most in the country in 2020 are located in the North region and 6 belong to the state of Pará

More than 90% of municipalities in the northern region of the country registered deforestation in 2020. This is one of the data brought by the Annual Report on Deforestation in Brazil - 2020, produced from data from MapBiomas Alerta, presented in a Webinar on July 9th. 

The study revealed an increase of 3% in total deforestation in the northern region of the country compared to the previous year (2019). In 2020, 758,329 hectares were deforested in the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins.

The increase may seem small in percentage, but the North region had the greatest deforestation in 2020. To get an idea of ​​what this represents, using as a reference the area deforested throughout the North (758,329 ha or 7,583 km²), the amount is equivalent to seven times the area of ​​the city of Belém (1,059 km²) or three times the area of ​​the city of Palmas (2,219 km²). And the area deforested in the Amazon biome alone in the region (688,693 ha) represents 50% of all deforestation in the country last year.

In the North, 423 municipalities were registered with deforestation, out of a total of 450, that is, 94% of the municipalities had suppression of native vegetation. Of the 10 municipalities that deforested the most in the country in 2020, 9 are located in the North region and 6 belong to the state of Pará. The municipality with the largest deforested area was Altamira (PA), with 60,608 hectares.

For researcher Antônio Fonseca, from Imazon (Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia), one of the highlights of the report is the increase in the number of alerts in the region. In 2020, 54,974 alerts were detected, an increase of 23% compared to the 2019 data. Another important data brought by Fonseca was the leadership of the state of Pará in the ranking of the most deforestation, with approximately 48% of the total loss area of forest. According to the Report, 49% of the deforested area in Brazil was concentrated in 50 municipalities, 15 of them in Pará.

Most of the area of ​​the northern states is covered by the Amazon biome, but the Cerrado is also present in a small part of Rondônia and in Tocantins the Cerrado biome prevails. According to Fonseca, according to data from MapBiomas Uso e Coverage, it is estimated that more than 80% of the deforestation that occurs in the states of the North region that contain the Amazon biome is for pasture.

An alert made by the researcher from Imazon is that "the increase in forest loss in Amazonas indicates the advance of a new frontier of deforestation in the region, including entering conservation units and indigenous lands".

Highlights of the North region in the Annual Report on Deforestation in Brazil - 2020:

- 54,974 alerts detected, validated and refined (a 23% increase over 2019);

- 758,329 hectares of deforestation (a 3% increase compared to 2019);

- In the North, 423 municipalities were registered with deforestation, out of a total of 450, that is, 94% of the cities;

- Pará was the champion in deforestation in the North, with 366,334 hectares devastated, 23% more than in 2019;

- Of the 10 municipalities that deforested the most in 2020, 9 are located in the North region and 6 belong to the state of Pará. In first place is Altamira (PA), with 60,608 hectares deforested, an increase of 11.9% compared to 2019. In second appears São Félix do Xingu (PA), which deforested 45,587 hectares, followed by Porto Velho (RO), with 44,076 hectares removed. In fourth is Lábrea (AM), with 35,596 hectares less native vegetation. Balsas (MA), the only one in this ranking list outside the North, destroyed 28,752 hectares and is in fifth position. Novo Progresso (PA), with 23,696 hectares, is in sixth and Itaituba (PA) is in seventh, with deforestation of 22,094 hectares. Apuí (AM), which devastated 21,739 hectares, ranks eighth. Pacajá (PA), with 20,789 hectares deforested and Portel (PA) with 18,612 hectares;

- Amazonas appears in second place in the North region in areas of devastated native vegetation, with 127,967 hectares, growth of 2% compared to 2019;
Rondônia, whose capital is among the cities that most deforested in 2020, removed 114,943 hectares and is in third position;

- Tocantins comes next and deforested 68,833 hectares;

- Acre is fifth on this list, with 56,657 hectares suppressed;

- Roraima (21,939 hectares) and Amapá (1,653 hectares) were the states that had the least deforestation in 2020 in the Northern region.

Access the full 2020 Annual Deforestation Report on the MapBiomas Alerta website.