Home to more than 60% of the Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical forest in the world, Brazil is beyond rich in biodiversity and life. The country is also rife with deforestation, and violations of environmental laws and Indigenous people’s rights. In other words, Brazil has a serious forest problem. According to historical data gathered by the Brazilian Annual Land Use and Land Cover Mapping Project (MapBiomas) since its creation in 2015, Brazil lost 870,000 square kilometers (336,000 square miles) of native vegetation between 1985 and 2019. That’s an area the size of two Germanies and one Suriname — with plenty of space still left over. Most of this area — 720,000 km2 (278,000 mi2) — was lost in forest cover. Over this same period, the land area dedicated to agriculture almost tripled, going from 250,000 to 640,000 km2 (96,500 to 247,000 mi2). In 2019, almost a third of Brazil, or 2.5 million km2 (965,000 mi2) — 10 United Kingdoms — was used for crops and pasture. Much of this land use change over these 34 years was carried out illegally. From 2015 to 2019 alone, Brazil lost 80,000 km2 (31,000 mi2) in forest cover — almost the size of Austria. This is an ongoing trend: data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show that between August 2019 and July of this year, the Amazon forest lost 11,088 km2 (4,281 mi2) in forest cover. This is a 9.5% increase from the same period from 2018 to 2019, and…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer