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Brazil | New satellite technology shows far higher Amazon deforestation rate; 10% of loss is in PAs

The Brazilian Amazon lost 184 km2 of forest in December 2017, according to the country’s Institute of Man and the Environment of the Amazon (Imazon). The data, obtained exclusively by the Brazilian news network GLOBO, show a significant increase in deforestation over that of December 2016, when just 9 km2 of deforestation was recorded.

More than a new surge in deforestation, this massive increase actually reflects an improvement in Brazil’s capacity to measure rainforest extent. Imazon, an environmental NGO that monitors the Amazon region, now incorporates radar imagery from the European Space Agency (ESA)’s new Sentinel-1 satellite. Launched into space in 2014, the Sentinel-1 is used to monitor everything from the Arctic thaw to earthquakes, oil spills, and volcanoes.


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