The rate of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon region was cut in half in 2023 compared to the previous year, the lowest deforestation rate recorded in the last five years.
The Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the “lungs of the planet” because of its important role in the planet’s oxygen and carbon cycles. The rainforest spans nine countries in South America, with about 60% of it in Brazil. It covers about 3.6% of the Earth’s land surface and is the most biodiverse forest, supporting 10% of the planet’s animal species. There are also an estimated 19,000 to 25,000 tree species, compared to 20 in Sweden, and almost every other day a new species is found in the rainforest.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pledged to stop deforestation in the country by 2030 when he took office a year ago. He has also promised to restore what has already been destroyed.
According to preliminary figures from Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, 5,153 square kilometers of the Amazon were deforested last year. In 2022, 10,278 square kilometers will have been cleared, according to the BBC.
The country’s environmental authorities see this as a first step towards the goal of zero deforestation and underline the government’s commitment to fighting illegal logging in the Amazon.