Decrease in Amazon Deforestation Consolidates under Lula, but Cutting Down Hits Record in the Cerrado

Data from the last 12 months take into account Bolsonaro's management; Brazil hosts an environmental summit next week

Brasília and São Paulo

The Amazon recorded a 7.4% drop in deforestation alerts from August 2022 to July 2023 compared to the same previous period (2021-2022). The area of forest cut down in the period was 7,952 km², the lowest amount since the 2018-2019 interval. At the same time, however, the Cerrado reached the record for warnings in Deter's history, with 6,359 km² deforested—16.5% more than in the previous period.

Vista aérea de fumaça em meio à floresta amazônica
SÃO PAULO (SP) - 3.7.23 -In recent years, the Amazon has faced a harsh period of deforestation and wildfires - Getty Images via BBC News Brasil

In the final six months of the last year, during the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL), alerts in the Amazon grew by 54.1%, while in early 2023, under the Lula administration (PT), there was a drop of 42.5%. In the Cerrado, the increase that was 15.7% accelerated to 20.7% in the PT administration. The positive update for the forest but concerning for the Cerrado occurs days before the Amazon Summit, which will take place next week in Belém, Pará.

The comparison between the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023 also illustrates this discrepancy between what happens in the two biomes. The data were released this Thursday morning (3) by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

As has been happening in recent months, the monthly rate of deforestation was announced at a press conference in Brasilia. Previously, such monthly information was only updated on the Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) platform.

Translated by Cassy Dias

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