Humberto Laudares, 03 November 2020

The existing literature on deforestation focuses on the environmental impacts. Using a novel panel dataset from Brazil, this column finds that deforestation is also playing a significant role in the transmission of COVID-19 to Indigenous populations, with one km2 deforested today estimated to result in 9.5% more new COVID-19 cases among Indigenous people in two weeks. In addition to being an environmental problem, deforestation is also a key health and economic issue, given the importance of curbing the spread of the COVID-19 to save lives and prevent an increase in inequality.

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