In 18 years, Brazil’s forests lost an area almost the size of Spain

In 18 years, Brazil lost an area almost the size of Spain in forests. As bad as it sounds, things are getting worse

forests brazil deforestation
Photo: Dzmitry Palubiatka/Shutterstock

President Jair Bolsonaro is facing tremendous heat for his laissez-faire approach to the environment. Since he took office in 2019, his administration has been accused by federal prosecutors of “purposely dismantling” the country’s environmental agencies and all but encouraging illegal deforestation. During an infamous April 22 cabinet meeting that became public in an unrelated investigation, Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the government should take advantage of the undivided attention of the press on the Covid-19 pandemic to “run the cattle herd” through the Amazon, “changing all of the rules and simplifying standards.”

But as deleterious as the Bolsonaro administration...

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