KEY POINTS
  • Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest rose in October from a year ago, satellite data showed on Friday, undercutting vows by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Brazil is making a push at the United Nations climate change summit (COP26) to suggest it has stepped up stewardship of the Amazon, vowing to end illegal deforestation by 2028.
  • But scientists, diplomats and activists say those promises mean little given how deforestation has soared under Bolsonaro to levels last seen in 2008.
Smoke rises from an illegally lit fire in Amazon rainforest reserve, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil, on August 15, 2020.

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest rose in October from a year ago, satellite data showed on Friday, undercutting vows by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro that it is curbing destruction of a crucial bulwark against climate change.

The preliminary data from national space research agency INPE showed about 877 square kilometers (339 square miles) of forest were cleared last month, a 5% increase from October 2020. It was the worst October deforestation since the current monitoring system began in 2015.