Amazon Deforestation Drops
The Amazon rainforest is seeing a reprieve this year, as deforestation in Brazil has reportedly dropped by 33.6% in the first six months of the year.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s administration released a statement on Thursday, 8 July, with data from Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research announcing that the rainforest shrank by 2,649 sq km between January and June 2023.
“We have reached a steady downward trend in deforestation of the Amazon,” Environment Minister Marina Silva, cheerfully announced to reporters on the same day.
This is the lowest level of clearing in the country since 2019 and a sharp improvement from 3,988 sq km during those same six months last year.
The decline – which has not yet been independently verified – has been attributed to Lula’s strict environmental policies, as he has pledged to end deforestation, or forest clearance, by the end of the decade.
June has been highlighted as a particularly good month, as it saw a record 41% drop in forest clearance compared with the same time last year.
During the term of Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro – which was from 2019 to 2022 – deforestation of the Amazon shot up by 75% in comparison to the average impact over the decade before.
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