Deforestation is a big problem in Brazil, specifically. The reason deforestation goes up year by year is because the Amazon rainforest is huge. There’s a lot there to cut down. However, because the government of Brazil is more interested in keeping the economy going, there’s little incentive for them to play by the conservation rules. As the previous answer has already stated, the currency in Brazil is rather weak right now. It takes more than a few months to get the economy in shape again.
With so much effort going into conservation, it doesn’t make sense for one country to be wrecking it so much. However, until Brazil has a reason to care about the environment, it’s a safe bet that deforestation will continue in the Amazon rainforest.
Deforestation is not new. Millions of acres were deforested centuries ago in the US for land reclamation. Despite conservation efforts and the growing international public awareness of the evils which follow deforestation, there is little international ability to sway the government in Brazil.
It is the Amazonian forest that is being reduced, year on year, despite criticism. The dry conditions in the Amazon and a weakened Brazilian currency makes agricultural exports more profitable. The present government is not committed to conservation, even of its surrounding areas.