In a remarkable environmental development, Brazil has witnessed a significant decrease in Deforestation in Amazon forest rates. According to data from the national space agency Inpe, the rate of deforestation in 2023 plummeted by nearly 50% compared to the previous year, marking the lowest rate in the last five years.
The preliminary data indicated that approximately 5,153 square kilometres (1,989.6 square miles) of the Amazon were cleared in 2023, starkly contrasting to the 10,278 square kilometres logged in 2022. This reduction in Deforestation in the Amazon forest is particularly noteworthy considering the deforested area still spans a region more than six times the size of New York City.
This environmental milestone aligns with the commitments of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who assumed office a year ago. President Lula had pledged to halt deforestation in the Amazon by 2030 altogether. His administration has been vocal about restoring the Amazon rainforest and tackling climate crimes, a promise he reiterated at the COP27 climate summit in 2022.
Under President Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, the Amazon had experienced a surge in rainforest destruction, reaching a 12-year high. The current administration’s shift in policy is evident in the latest figures.
In a statement on the social platform X (formerly Twitter), Brazil’s environment ministry expressed that this achievement is a critical step toward their goal of zero deforestation. The ministry also emphasized its ongoing commitment to combat illegal activities in the Amazon.
The increased inspection efforts by the Brazilian environmental watchdog, Ibama, are key to this success. The environment ministry credited Ibama’s intensified work in the Amazon for the significant decrease in deforestation rates. Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva reflected on this progress, stating that the falling deforestation rate is a direct “reflection” of Ibama’s dedicated efforts in the region.
The Amazon rainforest is crucial for the planet’s oxygen and carbon dioxide cycles. Brazil holds approximately 60% of this vital rainforest, making it a central player in global environmental efforts.
The significant reduction in deforestation rates in the Amazon is a positive step in the ongoing battle against climate change, highlighting the impact of dedicated environmental policies and enforcement.