While the rest of the world is on lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, deforestation has sharply increased in Brazil. In 2020, deforestation increased by 50% compared to last year, with April experiencing a 64% increase in illegal logging.
To put this into perspective, in just April, a chunk of the amazon rainforest similar in size to California was cut down. This is putting 2020 on track for the worst year in history for the forest. To fight the problem, Brazil has sent out 3,000 soldiers to shut down and reduce the illegal logging that is taking place.
However, an even bigger problem with all of this human activity in the forest is the threat it will have on the tribes that live in the Forest.
The Indigenous People Cannot Cope with COVID-19
The Amazon Rainforest is home to over 900,000 tribesmen, and they are in serious danger. These people do not have antibodies for the most common diseases you would encounter in a city. This has lead to a very weak immune system for the tribesmen.
To make matters worse, the medical infrastructure of these tribes is not great. If the disease was to become widespread, these people would be devastated. However, if the tribe remains secluded, they should be safe from COVID-19.
Encouraged By Brazil’s President
Deforestation has been encouraged by the current president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. Expanding the growing agriculture business of the country has been a big goal of his presidency. His legislation is a big contributor to the Amazon Rainforest fire that occurred last year.
This is because ranchers would use fire to clear the land. However, thanks to heavy criticism from both the people of Brazil and world leaders, protection efforts are improving slightly. Unfortunately, even with more being done, deforestation in Brazil is becoming worse than ever.