In the Amazon, deforestation dropped by 33.6% in the first 6 months of 2023



by LORENZO CIOTTI

In the Amazon, deforestation dropped by 33.6% in the first 6 months of 2023

The Brazilian Amazon forest recorded a 33.6% reduction in deforestation in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year. The data was reported by the National Institute for Space Research's real-time deforestation detection system.

The protection of the tropical forest is one of the priorities of the government of the progressive president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which aims at zero deforestation by 2030. According to the executive secretary of the Ministry of the Environment, João Paulo Capobianco, the work of the Brazilian Institute of Renewable Natural and Environmental Resources and the Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity has been fundamental in reducing deforestation in the biome, thanks to the fines applied by the two supervisory bodies.

Unlike Amazonia, the Cerrado, Brazil's second most important biome, considered the biologically richest tropical savannah in the world, is still in grave danger due to its progressive destruction.

In the Amazon, deforestation dropped by 33.6% in the first 6 months of 2023

Due to the constant destruction of the forest, the Amazon has emitted more carbon dioxide in the last decade than it absorbed, 16.6 gigatons against 13.9 gigatons, depriving us of one of the main allies against climate change.

According to the data presented, 2,649 square kilometers of rainforest were lost from January to June this year, compared to 3,988 square kilometers in the same period in 2022. The Lula government, in addition to having established six new protected areas for indigenous peoples, for a total of over 620,000 hectares, has banned mining and limited agricultural interventions.

The goal of the Lula government is virtuous: to definitively stop the deforestation of the largest rainforest on the planet by 2030. The environment and all of humanity would benefit from the end of the exploitation of the Amazon.

Deforestation generates many problematic and potentially catastrophic aspects. Environmentalists have been denouncing for years an enormous loss of biodiversity, increased by the result of the destruction of forests and the unsustainable exploitation of its resources.

Furthermore, the Amazon is an enormous terrestrial lung which, thanks to the high density of the vegetation and its equatorial position which allows for a large amount of solar radiation, consumes large quantities of carbon dioxide, generating oxygen.

Removing the forest area decreases this effect; moreover, deforestation is often carried out through uncontrolled fires. All this has important implications for the greenhouse effect, and constitutes one of the main parameters on which models for global warming of the planet are built.

The combination of global warming and deforestation is making the regional climate drier and could upset the delicate balance of the rainforest by turning parts of it into savannah.