Amazon rainforest, often regarded as the lungs of our planet, has lost 24, 000 square miles of its forest, equivalent to 8.4 million football pitches, in the last 10 years.
The startling revelation has been named as International Statistics of the Decade by the British-based Royal Statistical Society.
It said that since 2010, the Amazon forest area has been encroached upon by big business houses, resulting in serious environmental degradation.
Professor Jennifer Rogers, one of the judges of the chair, said the panel felt the statistics are very effective in getting people’s attention towards the “decade’s worst environmental degradation”, The Sun newspaper reported.
The Amazon forests have been in the headlines since the start of the year. There was a massive fire in Amazon during the month of August that lasted for weeks. The massive fire caused irreparable damage to ecology as well as species.
Brazil-based National Institute for Space Research said Brazilian Amazon has recorded 74, 000 instances of fire incidents since the start of the year – a whopping 84 per cent increase from last year.
Scientists and environmentalists attributed the increase in fire instances to Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro’s “unmindful invitation” to loggers and farmers to clear the land.
Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and is a critical piece of the global climate solution. It spans the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.