Words by Tess Becker
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the entire world and is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. It’s home to over 3 million species and over 2,500 tree species (or one-third of all tropical trees that exist on earth).
It might be big, but it’s been shrinking in recent years with as much as 14% lost due to deforestation. That’s something that the new Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, wanted to put a stop to.
So what did he do?
The first monthly figure of Lula’s Presidency shows a decline in deforestation compared to last year. 64 square miles were cleared in the region last month, down 61 percent from January 2022, the worst month in the eight-year period.
Deforestation in January was also lower than the 75.7 square mile historical average for the month since 2016.
Under Lula, Brazilian environmental agents have started their first anti-logging operations with the express goal of putting a stop to rampant damage. This follows the previous government under Bolsonaro which had gutted much of its environmental protection staff.
“It is positive to see such a relevant drop in January,” said WWF-Brasil conservation specialist Daniel Silva. “However, it is still too early to talk about a trend reversal, as part of this drop may be related to greater cloud cover.”
Find out more about WWF Brasil and the work they're doing to reduce deforestation.