Fires in Brazil this year destroyed an area the size of Belgium
According to a study published Thursday by the MapBiomas network, 29,330 square kilometers of vegetation were destroyed.
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The area destroyed by fire between January and July was 2% less than that devastated in the same period of 2021. However, the area burned grew by 7%, to some 14,800 square kilometers, aggravating the critical situation facing the world's largest rainforest.
According to MapBiomas, a collaborative network supported by non-governmental organizations, as well as technological support from Google and members of international environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 16% of the area destroyed by fires in the Amazon was in areas of dense tropical rainforest, i.e. areas that are protected.
In addition, three out of four hectares in Brazil that are destroyed by fires are native vegetation, mostly natural fields. One in five belong to forests.
A new version of the MapBiomas website is the Fire Monitor, which measures forest fires in Brazil and is characterized by giving references on the areas actually destroyed in the ecosystem.
The initiative uses images from the European satellite Sentinel 2, which passes more frequently at the same point than the satellites used by the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), which has a higher spatial resolution.