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Deforestation in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, rose by 17% last year, with wildfires, beef production and logging causing forested areas roughly the size of El Salvador to disappear, according to new data published on Wednesday.

The loss of primary forest — the clearing of old-growth, intact forest for the first time — hit its third-highest annual total on record since 2000, reaching 2.3 million hectares (5.6 million acres) in the nine countries spanned by the Amazon.

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