Rate Of Rainforest Destruction Stables During Bolsonaro's Presidency

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The rate of rainforest destruction had been stable during the first few months of Bolsonaro's presidency but began to soar in May and June, according to Brazil's National Institute of Space Research (INPE), a government agency whose satellites also monitor the Amazon.

769.1 square kilometers were lost last month - a stark increase from the 488.4 sq km lost in June 2018, INPE's data showed. That equates to an area of rainforest larger than one and a half soccer fields being destroyed every minute of every day.

However, more than two-thirds of the Amazon are located in Brazil and environmental groups blame far-right leader Bolsonaro and his government for the increase, saying he has relaxed controls on deforestation in the country.

Consequently, the Amazon deforestation accelerated more than 60% in June over the same period last year, in what environmentalists say is a sign that the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro are starting to take effect.

During Bolsonaro's election campaign, he promised his government would focus on recovering the Brazilian economy and said he would look at ways of exploring the Amazon's economic potential. He took office in January.

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