Amazon deforestation on the rise

Mere days after Brazil signed a deal at Glasgow to scale back and end the practice of deforestation, we have just learned that deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has reached a 15 year high.

A report from a Brazilian agency found that deforestation increased by 22% in 2021 — which amounts to 5110 square miles of forest lost.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has complained that holding Brazil accountable for deforestation is “unfair” — but the Amazon is too important an area for the world community to overlook.

The Amazon rainforest is an absolutely essential resource for combating the climate crisis. Sometimes called “the Earth’s lungs,” the trees and flora serve as a “carbon sink” that captures carbon dioxide and produces oxygen. Every acre of forest lost makes combating climate change even more challenging.

But SEEC members in Congress aren’t just sitting by. SEEC member Rep. Earl Blumenauer penned the Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade (FOREST) Act, which would fight back against illegal deforestation by deterring the purchase of goods originating from illegally deforested lands.

“It’s time to crack down on [the] dangerous practice [of illegal deforestation] — which is polluting our planet, threatening forests and wildlife, and hurting communities large and small,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer says.