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Brazil Registers Huge Spike in Amazon Deforestation

Clear cutting in the rainforest has gone up 88% in June compared to the same time last year. The new government's push for more logging may, however, scuttle the new EU-Mercosur free-trade agreement.

The Brazilian Space Agency has released data documenting a massive spike in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Citing figures from June, the agency registered an 88.4% increase over the same month in 2018.

That figure comes on the heels of increased deforestation in May, which was up 34% compared to 2018.

The agency measures annual July to July activity, but says the first 11 months of this year's report already show a 15% rise over the previous period.

That increase translates to some 4,565 square kilometers (1,762 square miles) of lost rainforest over an 11 month period. June alone saw the loss of 920 square kilometers.

Things getting far worse under Bolsonaro

Environmentalists have long been concerned about the steady loss of one of the world's largest sources of oxygen and carbon sequestration and their fears were compounded when far-right anti-environment candidate Jair Bolsonaro became president in January.

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