Last year, deforestation in Brazil’s Cerrado region, one of the largest savannas in the world, reached its highest level since 2015, according to newly released data from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Following that announcement, an INPE researcher said the government would stop monitoring deforestation in the Cerrado, owing to a lack of funds.
“It’s extremely worrying,” Mercedes Bustamante, an ecologist at the University of Brasilia, told Reuters.
From August 2020 through July 2021, the Cerrado region, home to a rich array of plants and animals, lost 8,531 square kilometers of vegetation, an area larger than the state of Delaware. Over the last half-century, roughly half the Cerrado has been lost as farms and ranches expand into the savanna.