(The Herald Post) – Despite the Brazilian government’s commitment to end deforestation, preliminary data from the country’s space research agency Inpe revealed a 14% increase in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in March compared to the previous year. The new leftist government, led by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been facing ongoing challenges in addressing deforestation since taking office on January 1.
While March’s numbers show a concerning rise in deforestation, the total destruction from January to March fell to 845 square kilometers (326 square miles), an 11% decrease compared to the same period last year. Brazil’s official deforestation measurements, taken from August to July, indicate a 39% year-on-year increase for the first eight months of that period, from August 2022 to March 2023.
Marcio Astrini, head of the local environmental group Climate Observatory, emphasized the urgency of addressing the Amazon’s “huge lack of governance.” Astrini also noted that the chances of decreasing deforestation in the Amazon by the end of 2023 are unlikely, with greater chances of an increase.
In February, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry warned that the global goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius cannot be achieved without protecting the Amazon rainforest. Washington announced its intention to contribute to Brazil’s Amazon Fund, which supports conservation projects in the region, earlier this year. Norway also pledged its support last month, as Brazil seeks to attract additional donor countries for the Amazon Fund.