Deforestation in the Amazon may soon begin to feed on itself

  • Since the 1970s nearly 800,000km² of Brazil’s original 4m km² of Amazon forest has been lost to logging, farming, mining, roads, dams and other forms of development
  • Scientists worry this is uncomfortably close to the threshold for tree loss, of between 20 and 25%, beyond which deforestation begins to feed on itself, turning much of the Amazon basin into drier savannah known as cerrado
  • Environmentalists blame Mr Bolsonaro’s insouciance about the Amazon. When Germany announced recently that it was cutting 35m euros of funding for conservation projects, Mr Bolsonaro said that “Brazil doesn’t need it.”