Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon falls 68% in April, first major drop under Lula - Reuters

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest fell 68% in April from the previous year, preliminary government data showed on Friday, a positive reading for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as it represents the first major drop under his watch.

Lula won last year’s election pledging to end deforestation after years of surging destruction under his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, but has faced continued challenges since taking office as environmental agency Ibama grapples with lack of staff.

Bolsonaro had slashed environmental protection efforts, cutting funding and staff at key agencies as he called for more farming and mining on protected lands.

Experts say it is still too early to confirm a downward trend, as the annual peak in deforestation from July to September lies ahead, but see it as a positive signal after rainforest destruction rocketed in late 2022.

Lula has said it is urgent for Brazil to show his government is not only talking about protecting the environment, but that it is on its way to fulfill a commitment to end deforestation by 2030.

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Locations: Brazil Amazon Rainforest 

People: Lula da Silva Jair Bolsonaro 

Tags: Environmentalism Climate Change Deforestation 

Type: Headlines