Home Economy News Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon down 40% in Q1, minister says

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon down 40% in Q1, minister says


BRASILIA (Reuters) -Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has decreased 40% in the first three months of 2024 from a year earlier, Environment Minister Marina Silva said on Tuesday, citing data from space research agency INPE.

Silva told reporters at an event in Brasilia that the data are “highly significant” because they follow a 50% drop in deforestation in 2023. She did not provide detailed figures.

Preliminary satellite data made available by INPE until March 28 showed 492 square kilometers (189.96 square miles) of the Amazon were cleared in the period, a 41.8% drop on a yearly basis.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose third non-consecutive term started in 2023, has staked his international reputation on reducing deforestation in the South American country, with pledges to end illegal clearing by 2030.

Last year, 5,153 square kilometers of the world’s largest rainforest were cleared in Brazil, a 49.9% drop from 2022 and the lowest level since 2018, though still an area more than six times the size of New York City.

Under Lula’s predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, destruction accelerated in the Amazon.

Silva said on Tuesday the government intends to invest 730 million reais ($145.87 million) in actions to fight deforestation in 70 Brazilian cities that were responsible for almost 80% of Amazon deforestation in 2022.

She added that Brazil was also working on a proposal to create a global fund to finance forest conservation. She said she hopes the money will be available by COP30, the U.N. climate change conference Brazil will host in 2025.

The South American country has garnered support from Indonesia, Congo and Ghana for the fund and has been in talks with Norway, Britain, Germany and France so they can back it by providing guarantees, Silva said.

($1 = 5.0046 reais)

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