Latin America

Not just in Brazil: deforestation also on the rise in Venezuelan Amazon

Despite losing less forest cover than the regional average in previous years, the Venezuelan Amazon is now seeing a rapid and dangerous transformation, partly thanks to government-sanctioned mining expansions

venezuela amazon
Orinoco River, Venezuela. Photo: Bayazed/Shutterstock

Environmental issues are not often the center of attention when it comes to Venezuela. Hyperinflation, economic scarcity, and brutal domestic and regional political conflicts have all led to one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the continent’s modern history, with 6.8 million refugees and migrants abandoning the country in search of a better life elsewhere, according to data from the United Nations.

But while 21st-century forest destruction in Venezuela has been far lower than some of its regional neighbors, experts point to the quickening pace of deforestation to suggest that the country’s environmental issues cannot remain under the radar...

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