An aerial view of a a wildcat gold mine, also known as a garimpo, at a deforested area of the Amazon rainforest near Crepurizao, in the municipality of Itaituba, Para State, Brazil [File:Nacho Doce/Reuters]

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose to its highest in more than a decade this year, government data on Monday showed, confirming a sharp rise under the leadership of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) space research agency said deforestation reached 9,762 square kilometres, up 29.5 percent, for the 12 months through July 2019.

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That’s the worst level of deforestation since 2008, heaping further pressure on the environmental policy of Bolsonaro who took office in January and favours developing the Amazon region economically.

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