Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon drops 22.3% in year through July
SAO PAULO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon dropped by 22.3% in the 12 months through July, government data showed on Friday, marking the smallest area cleared from the world's largest rainforest since 2018.
Some 9,001 square kilometers (3475.31 square miles) of Amazon jungle – often described as the “lungs of the world” for its ability to absorb carbon dioxide – were cleared in the 12 months through July, according to data from Brazilian space research agency Inpe.
This compares to the 11,568 square kilometers Inpe said was cleared in the same period a year earlier.
The data, produced yearly by Inpe’s PRODES satellite monitoring program, is far more accurate than its DETER alert system, which publishes weekly figures.
Destruction in the Amazon had spiked under former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who had weakened environmental protection agencies, paving the way for an influx of illegal miners, ranchers and land-grabbers to clear the forest.
Current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose term began at the start of this year, has staked his international reputation on rebuilding the rainforest protection system and curbing deforestation.
(Reporting by Peter Frontini; Editing by Kylie Madry)