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Friday, December 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Brazil says Amazon deforestation is worst since 2008

This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para. A report by a Brazilian government agency says the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is at its highest in more than a decade. (Andre Penner / AP)
This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para. A report by a Brazilian government agency says the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is at its highest in more than a decade. (Andre Penner / AP)
Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO – A report by a Brazilian government agency says the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is at its highest in more than a decade.

The National Institute for Space Research said Monday that deforestation between August 2018 and July 2019 reached 3,769 square miles, a 30 percent increase over the previous year and the most since 2008.

Concern about the Amazon heightened after President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January. He advocates the loosening of protections for natural reserves and indigenous lands as a way to promote economic development.

Fires in the Amazon spread at a pace unseen since 2010 in July and August, then slowed in September.

Environment ministry officials say they will meet the Amazon region’s governors Thursday to discuss ways to reduce deforestation.

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