So far this year, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is down 40 percent from the same period in 2022, according to government data. The drop comes as a win for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has promised to curb forest less.
In April alone, deforestation was down 68 percent from last year. The region saw 127 square miles (329 square kilometers) of forest destroyed, running below the historical April average of 176 square miles (456 square kilometers), Reuters reports.
It is unclear, however, if the downward trend will continue into late summer, when forest loss typically peaks. “The numbers are at a very high level, and the dry season, which is favorable to deforestation, has not yet started,” Mariana Napolitano of WWF-Brazil, said in a statement.
In Brazil’s dry Cerrado region, land clearing is trending up. Officials have recorded a spike in deforestation in the Brazilian savanna this year. The loss comes “in a context of continuous and increasing destruction that has been happening for a long time,” said Edegar de Oliveira of WWF-Brazil. “This devastation has already consumed half of the biome.”