Telling numbers: Counting Amazon fires, assessing forest lost

  1. The Amazon rainforest has been reeling under fires prompting global concerns.
  2. According to Brazilian Space Research Agency (INPE), more than 74,000 fires have been recorded in the Amazon region between January and August 2019. There has been an 84% increase in the number of fires compared with the same period in 2018
  3. According to scientists from the University of Maryland, most of the fires are on agricultural land where the forest had already been cleared.
  4. The Amazon rainforest is a moist broadleaf tropical rainforest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America.
  5. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil (60%), followed by Peru Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
  6. The Amazon is often referred to as the ‘lungs of the planet’ due to its vital role in oxygen production.