Sao Paulo (EFE).- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell 61.3% in January, the first month of the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, compared to the same period in 2022, according to data released this Friday.
In total, 166.58 square kilometers of jungle were destroyed in the month, according to satellite data from the Deter system, from the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE, for its acronym in Portuguese).
These data are partial, since they do not capture deforestation in areas covered by clouds, and in January 2023, 50.27% of the territory of the Brazilian Amazon could not be observed for this reason, while in January 2022 that area was of 48.04%.
The data was worse than that registered in January 2021 (82.8 square kilometers) or 2019 (136.1 square kilometers), during the administration of Jair Bolsonaro, who relaxed the fight against deforestation, allowed logging and mining in protected areas and promoted controversial development projects in the region.
Soon to confirm a reversal of deforestation
In a statement, the non-governmental organization WWF positively valued the deforestation data for January 2023, although it said that “it is still early” to talk about a reversal of the trend of destruction of the forest.
In 2022, the last year of the Bolsonaro government, the Brazilian Amazon lost 10,267 square kilometers of vegetation cover, a record level since satellite measurements have been made.
President Lula has placed the fight against deforestation among his priorities, with the aim of reducing it to zero by 2030.
In his first month in office, Lula reactivated the Amazon Fund, financed by Norway and Germany, revoked Bolsonaro’s controversial measures and set up a group with 17 ministries to define policies for the preservation of the jungle.
In Brazil, deforestation is the main cause of the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere.