May 19, 2023

Deforestation in the Amazon Region Declined 68% in April

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon region declined 68% in April compared to a year earlier in preliminary data released by the Brazilian government. This is the first monthly decline in deforestation since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva assumed power on January 1, 2023.

Lula campaigned on a promise to reduce deforestation after the destruction increased under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro. It took a few months to ramp up enforcement efforts and to hire personnel and increase funding for the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency and National Resources Agency (Ibama).

It is too early to say if this trend will continue into the peak period of deforestation during July-August-September, which is the traditional dry season in Brazil.

According to the Brazilian National Space Institute (Inpe) which monitors deforestation in Brazil, during April there were 328.71 square kilometers (81,190 acres) deforested in the Amazon Region compared to the historical average of 455.75 square kilometers (112,385 acres). This interrupted two months of increasing deforestation. Illegal deforestation spiked at the end of 2022 between the time Lula won the presidency and assumed power.

President Lula pledged to end illegal deforestation by 2030 so it was important that he show progress in controlling deforestation. The nations of the United States, Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom have contributed millions of dollars to the Amazon Fund to aid in controlling deforestation.