Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has witnessed a significant decline, with satellite data from the space research agency Inpe showing a 66.1% reduction in August compared to the same month the previous year.
This decline is particularly noteworthy because August is historically one of the months when deforestation rates are at their highest.
In August 2023, Inpe’s data suggests that 563 square kilometers (217 square miles) of the Amazon rainforest were cleared, compared to 1,661 square kilometers in August of the previous year. The reduction is seen as a positive development in the efforts to protect the crucial rainforest, which serves as a vital buffer against climate change.
The Brazilian government attributes this improvement to the new administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who assumed office in January of the current year.
“These results show the determination of the Lula administration to break the cycle of abandonment and regression seen under the previous government,” Marina Silva said.
Under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation rates had surged, driven by policies that promoted mining in indigenous lands and reduced the resources allocated to environmental protection agencies.
President Lula’s government has expressed a commitment to ending deforestation completely by 2030, and he has taken steps to protect the Amazon. Recently, he declared the recognition of two new areas as protected indigenous lands, situated in the states of Acre and Amazonas in northwestern Brazil. These efforts are part of a broader strategy to safeguard the Amazon, which houses nearly 60% of the entire rainforest.
In a significant development, President Lula hosted a summit in Belém, where leaders from the eight countries sharing the Amazon basin convened. While they agreed to establish an alliance to combat deforestation, they were unable to negotiate a shared conservation target. These ongoing efforts reflect the critical importance of preserving the Amazon rainforest, not only for Brazil but for the entire world’s fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.
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