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Brasilia: ‘Amazon deforestation down by a third in 2023’

Brasilia: 'Amazon deforestation down by a third in 2023'
Photo Credit : IANS

Brasilia: The Brazilian government has claimed that deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has decreased by a third, ot 33.6 per cent, in the first six months since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s assumed office compared with the same period last year.

The announcement was based on new satellite data presented by Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research (Inpe) on Thursday, reports the BBC.

According to the Inpe, the rainforest shrank by 2,649 sq km from January to June this year, down from 3,988 sq km in those six months last year under former President Jair Bolsonaro.

The Institute singled out June as the month that saw a record 41 per cent drop in forest clearance compared with the same period last year.

“We have reached a steady downward trend in deforestation of the Amazon,” the BBC quoted Environment Minister Marina Silva as saying to reporters.

Despite the positive report, the rainforest witnessed increasing fires.

In June alone, satellite monitoring detected 3,075 fires in the Amazon — the highest number since 2007.

Many of the blazes — releasing vast amounts of carbon emissions — have been linked to the clearing of previously deforested areas.

Lula, who took office in January, has vowed to reverse policies of his far-right predecessor Bolsonaro, who promoted mining in indigenous lands in the Amazon.

The President has also been pushing for the world’s richest nations to pay for various initiatives aimed at saving the rainforest.

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, and 60 per cent of it is in Brazil, the BBC reported.

Due to the large number of trees growing there, it is often called “the lungs of the planet” on account of how the trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

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