Amazon: Accumulated deforestation in 2022 is the second worst in the last 15 years, says Imazon

The mark reached in October is 0.5% lower than the record for the period, which was reached in 2021

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | Lábrea (AM, Brasil) |
Until October this year, the Amazon lost an area equivalent to six times the city of São Paulo - Divulgação/Imazon

Data from the Deforestation Warning System (also known as SAD, in Portuguese) from the Institute of Man and the Environment of the Amazon (also known as Imazon, in Portuguese) shows that the Amazon rainforest lost 10,000 km² between January and October 2022, which corresponds to six times the area of the city of São Paulo. 

That is the second most alarming figure ever recorded by Imazon in the last 15 years. It is only 0.5% lower than the accumulated deforestation in the same period of 2021, when the historical record was reached. Imazon has been monitoring the area with satellites since 2008. 

The state of Pará is at the top of the list of deforestation: it was 351 km² deforested in October, a little bit more than half of the figure recorded for the whole biome. Imazon warns that deforestation has been invading areas protected by the State, where there are ten conservation units and four out of the ten most deforested Indigenous lands.

The tree that is the symbol of Amazon is under threat  

Almost half of the deforestation recorded in Amazon Indigenous lands occurred in the Apyterewa Indigenous Land (Pará state), where 800 Parakanã individuals live. The Parakanã people suffer with land-grabbing and illegal cattle raising. 

Besides that, deforestation is getting closer to the north of Pará state, where the largest block of protected areas in the world is located. Among them is the Paru State Forest (also known as “Flota”, in Portuguese), which is 5th in the ranking of the most deforested conservation units in the Amazon rainforest.

The above-mentioned area became known internationally after an expedition supported by Imazon in September found the tallest Amazon tree: an 88.5 example meters high  angelim-vermelho (Dinizia excelsa), whose circumference is 9.9 meters. This tree is a symbol of the Amazon and is threatened by the advance of environmental crimes. 

The tallest Amazon tree, which is 88.5 meters high, is under threat due to deforestation. Photo: Havita Rigamonti / Imazon / Ideflor

Sustainable practices are at risk

“It is desperate to see deforestation invading Flota do Paru, a conservation unit that Imazon helped create and, for 16 years, has been supporting its implementation,” says Jakeline Pereira, a researcher at Imazon and advisor to Flota do Paru.

“We are seeing land-grabbing and illegal mining spreading into the territory, putting sustainable practices, forest management, and extraction of Brazil nuts at risk. In addition to the tallest Amazon tree, Flota do Paru also has many endemic species, as those that only exist in a certain region are called”, says Pereira.

Edited by: Flávia Chacon e Rodrigo Durão Coelho