Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon surged to a 12-year high from August 2019 to July 2020, according to the country's National Institute for Space Research. About 6,890 square miles were destroyed during that time, a 9.5% increase over the previous 12-month period. Why are things getting so bad? Environmentalists have pointed to the policies of Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has defunded the agencies responsible for preventing illegal logging, ranching and mining in the rainforest, and deforestation has soared since he took office in January 2019. He has also dismissed figures revealing the extent of the damage. Last year, 34 international investors threatened to divest from Brazilian companies unless steps were taken to tackle wildfires and destruction in the area. President-elect Joe Biden also has pledged to address the crisis.