Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon – It is a forested and tropical area of ​​the Amazon rainforest in the region of Labrea, state of Amazonas, northern Brazil. Photo: Douglas Magno/AFP/Getty Images

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by at least 60% in July compared to the same month last year, the minister of environment, Marina Silva, has told the Guardian.

Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon

Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon

The good news is ahead of the regional conference that aims to prevent South America’s largest biosphere from falling into a dangerous place.

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The exact image, derived from the Deter satellite warning system, will be released in the coming days, but independent analysts said the initial data was “credible” and said it was better compared to last year’s month was the best since 2005. .

The rapid progress shows the importance of political change. A year ago, under the right-wing president of the time, Jair Bolsonaro, Amazon was suffering one of the worst periods of cut and burn in history. But since the new administration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the beginning of the year, the government has punished land grabbers, launched military operations to evict illegal miners, and isolated other indigenous lands and creating additional conservation areas.

The results will strengthen Lula, Marina and other Brazilian forces for the Amazon conference designed to strengthen regional cooperation that will be held in Belém on August 8-9 with the participation of forest countries that eight: Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname.

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and the minister of environment, Marina Silva, presented a plan to stop the deforestation of the Amazon by June 2023. Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

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Silva said that the threat of the climate crisis, which has brought heat to many South American countries, means that the event should be more than a show of solidarity; we need to produce concrete products and real products so that the Amazon does not reach the point where it starts to dry up and die, which scientists have warned is imminent.

He suggested that each country should develop an action plan, create a scientific team to keep up-to-date, and share best practices to achieve the conference’s three goals: protect forest and indigenous peoples, and combating inequality and strengthening democracy.

The key to improving Brazil, home to 60% of the Amazon, he says, is a real goal. “The main reason is Lula’s decision to have no forests. Since then, we have created new protected areas and indigenous territories that have produced some results… Now we have to face a new model of a life that is not capable of harm, to minimize harm to the natives and the forest.”

Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon

In the first six months of the year, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has decreased by 34%, compared to the same period last year, according to the Deter satellite warning system.

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Figures for July, a larger month than the one that marks the start of the clearance season, are still being compiled, but Silva said they see an improvement of “60%” from same time last year.

A sawmill is surrounded by burned fields and forest near Porto Velho, Brazil, in 2019. Photo: André Penner/AP

Independent analysts believe this could be as high as 70%. “It’s amazing, really crazy,” said Tasso Azevedo, a forest engineer and founder of the analysis group MapBiomas. “This is the biggest fall since 2005. We’re still wondering why this happened so quickly.”

He believes that the slowdown is due to a number of factors: the reimposition of restrictions and other government protection measures, improved technical analysis that shows where the problems are more quickly, and more information, banks are more likely to cancel loans to participating property owners. in clearing trees, and caution among farmers created by the European Union’s new rules on non-forestry trade. It may not be a coincidence that the forest has not completely fallen in the cerrado savanna, and it has not been covered by the EU authorities.

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Silva cautioned that a single month based on preliminary satellite data does not predict the situation. The clearer picture may take two years because the government’s annual census runs from August to July, meaning this year includes the last five months of Bolsonaro’s administration.

Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon

However, he saw encouraging signs compared to the last time he was environment minister, from 2003 to 2008. During that time, the ministry did not decline as much as during the Bolsonaro years and the police officers of the police departments who have taken on important supporting roles, did not do so. it is far from this year, but it will be two years before the policies start to show results.

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This year, the agency has limited resources and is relying more on military remote control and satellite tracking. “It’s different now. The problem is bigger and more difficult, but we have more experience and know how to do it,” he said.

Silva hopes that improvement can be a source of a new change of life in the Amazon and beyond, based on the sustainable use of resources, opening markets to valid products, development of biodiversity and more financial support from rich countries benefiting from the The role of rainforests is to stabilize the climate and create rain.

External investment, trade and financial support are essential to present an alternative to harmful zoos and hoya plantations. Because of his success in fighting the worst forms of deforestation, Silva has come under intense attack from the agribusiness and oil companies in Brazil, and Congress has stripped him of his authority. minister.

He also faces challenges from El Niño, which has brought terrifying temperatures of 38.9C to the Chilean Andes in the middle of winter, water scarcity in Uruguay and record monthly temperatures in parts of Brazil. Droughts and fires in the Amazon are expected to intensify in the coming months, even worse if the current president’s policies continue. Lula and Marina have committed their political careers to zero deforestation, and are expected to continue their march ahead of the United Nations’ Cop30 summit, which is expected to stop in the Amazon city of Belém in 2025. An aerial view of the trees. illegally cut from the Amazon rainforest found in sawmills near Humaita, Brazil. Photo: Wesley Marcelino/Reuters

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1, 114.8 square kilometers were cut this month, the same area as Hong Kong – on top of the fire damage.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached its highest level in August since the current monitoring system began in 2015, underscoring concerns about poor forest protection under President Jair Bolsonaro.

The world’s largest coal mine lost 1,114.8 sq km (430 sq miles) – equivalent to the area of ​​Hong Kong – in the first 26 days of this month, according to the first reports from at the government’s satellite surveillance office. The data is not damaged by the fires that are burning in the Amazon.

Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon

After peaking in July, the country has seen the worst two months on record by the Deter-B satellite system, which was deployed in 2015 to provide short-term alerts to forest guards.

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Scientists warn that this year it will pass 10,000 square kilometers for the first time in a decade, raising concerns that Brazil is going back to the dark years of 1995-2004.

After annual increases of more than 25,000 square kilometers around the turn of the century, the government introduced controls, heavy penalties and better monitoring that helped reduce the forests by 80%.

This success earned Brazil credit around the world as a leader in the environment, but results have been declining over the past five years, and at a rapid pace over the past four months. past

Since taking power at the beginning of the year, Bolsonaro has scaled back environmental protection efforts and made it clear that he supports miners, farmers and ranchers over indigenous communities and other forest dwellers.

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Last month, he fired the head of the National Institute for Space Research, saying the forest statistics were misleading. Environmentalists say these actions are consistent with the president’s promises to open up the Amazon.

“The August news from Deter was not surprising,” said Claudio Angelo of Climate Observatory, an NGO group of environmental groups. “The Brazilian government was elected this time with a promise to eliminate the policies and administrative structures that prevent deforestation, and they are doing it.”

“From Brazil since 2004 there is a plan for the prevention and control of deforestation in the forests

Deforestation In The Brazilian Amazon

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