Illegal deforestation on indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon increased by 129 percent between 2013 and 2021, a study released by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation revealed.
This illegal activity generated 96 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, with 59 percent occurring between 2019 and 2021, the study published in the journal Scientific Reports detailed.
The study analyzed 232 indigenous territories and found deforestation in the territories reached 1,708 square kilometers, equivalent to 2.38 percent of the Brazilian Amazon.
“Deforestation also creates other problems inside these areas, such as the spread of diseases and threats to the survival of isolated indigenous peoples,” said Celso Silva, professor in biodiversity and conservation at the Federal University of Maranhao.
Guilherme Mataveli, one of the co-authors of the study, said that indigenous lands are “essential” for Brazil to meet such environmental goals as reducing the impacts of climate change, since the South American country holds 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest.
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