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Amazon rainforest deforestation ‘worst in 10 years’, says Brazil

Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has hit its highest rate in a decade, according to official data.

About 7,900 sq km (3,050 sq miles) of the world’s largest rainforest was destroyed between August 2017 and July 2018 – an area roughly five times the size of London.

Environment Minister Edson Duarte said illegal logging was to blame.

The figures come amid concerns about the policies of Brazil’s newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro.

During the 2018 election campaign, Mr Bolsonaro pledged to limit fines for damaging forestry and to weaken the influence of the environmental agency.

An aide for the president-elect has also announced the administration will merge the agriculture and environment ministries, which critics say could endanger the rainforest.

Taken from BBC News