Since 2000, foreign investors have bought over 11,000 square miles of Brazilian farmland, an area larger than the state of Massachusetts, according to a report by Chain Reaction Research, a think tank focused on deforestation and commodities.
Deforestation in Brazil, including of the Amazon, has grown at an alarming clip since 1985, denuding an area just shy of the size of Texas and Florida combined. Only one phenomenon has seen a larger geographic takeover since Brazil’s military dictatorship came to an end: agriculture. New farms have taken over an area only slightly larger. The correlation is no coincidence.