A new study showing a 22.3% drop in the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon was released Thursday, Agencia Brasil reported. The document also highlighted that the latest figures represented the best results in the matter since 2019.
Deforestation in the Legal Amazon from August 2022 to July 2023 reached 9,001 square kilometers (km2), representing a 22.3% drop compared to the previous year (2021/2022), the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said Thursday after processing data from the Project for Monitoring Deforestation in the Legal Amazon by Satellite (PRODES), a system maintained by INPE that calculates annual forest suppression in the nine states that make up the Legal Amazon.
Thus, deforestation was the lowest in five years, when it registered 7.5 thousand km2 between 2018 and 2019. Prodes monitoring is carried out between August of one year and July of the following year, between the driest seasons of the forest, and is considered the most reliable and accurate result by scientists.
Behind this, there is President Lula's political decision of zero deforestation; behind this, there is the political decision that the plan is a cross-cutting policy and, behind this, there is the government's integrated action to achieve these results, said Environment and Climate Change Minister Marina Silva during a press conference.
Between August and December last year, the deforestation alerts reported by Deter, which is an alert system also maintained by Inpe, registered a 54% increase during the previous government. This trend was reversed this year when the reduction in vegetation loss in the Amazon was 42%, Silva also explained.
In the 70 municipalities considered to be the most deforested in the forest, Inpe reported a drop of 42.1% this year compared to last. Among the states, there was a significant drop of 40% in Amazonas, after three years of high levels. Deforestation also fell in Pará (-21%) and Rondônia (-42%) but increased by 9% in the state of Mato Grosso between August 2022 and July 2023.
Compared to last year, the reduction in deforestation in the Amazon totaled 2,593 square kilometers, which, according to Inpe, represents an avoided emission of 133 million tons of carbon equivalent. This volume represents a drop of 7.5% in national CO2 emissions. The Brazilian government's current target is to eliminate deforestation in the biome by 2030.
Among the actions that have led the government to reverse the upward trend in forest suppression in the Amazon is the increase in fines and embargoes issued by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).
There has been a significant increase in Ibama's fines and embargoes, with the adoption of remote technology for fines and embargoes, the seizure of production in embargoed areas, and the destruction of goods seized in these areas. A very important action carried out by the Forestry Service was the cancellation and suspension of pending Rural Environmental Registry registrations overlapping indigenous territories, conservation units, and public forests that were not earmarked, said Secretary for Deforestation Control and Territorial Environmental Planning André Lima.
In the case of Ibama, there has been a 104% increase in fines (5,169) this year. ICMBio, which is responsible for managing conservation units such as national parks, recorded a 320% increase in fines, totaling 1,700 sanctions. As a result, there was a 58% drop in deforestation in these areas.
Among other actions, the Ministry official also cited the reinstallation of the Technical Chamber for the Destination of Public Lands, the resumption of the Amazon Fund, and the updating of the Safra Plan to induce low-carbon agriculture as structuring actions by the government to contain deforestation.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)