June 24, 2024 at 12:38 pm

Deforestation Rates In The Amazon Are Dropping By 50%, The Lowest They’ve Been In Years

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

Deforestation of the world’s rainforests has been a key environmental issue for decades.

It is driven by clearing the land for logging, mining, and ranching, all linked to a global demand for commodities like beef, soy, and palm oil.

Now, experts say that all of their harping is finally making a difference.

In fact, deforestation has been declining every month for over a year, recently reaching the lowest rate in five years.

Data from Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) also indicates that it dropped over 50% between April 2023 and April 2024.

Source: Shutterstock

This is extra great, since large parts of the northern Amazon has been suffering from an extreme droughts since 2023. Dry weather tends to increase deforestation because it increases the conditions for wildfires.

It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, as large banks and financial institutions are behind the world’s largest agribusinesses that profit from the activities linked to deforestation.

Some of the recent headway is credited to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration. He took over for the extreme right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who scrapped many environmental protections in favor of the money gains associated with agrobusiness.

Lula is committed to fighting deforestation, although some say he has softened on that position since being elected.

The rainforest might be going in the right direction, but there are still huge challenges ahead. Climate change and deforestation are still on a path toward potential collapse by 2050.

Source: Shutterstock

They would become grasslands or degraded ecosystems with lower tree cover, says lead author Bernardo Flores.

“We are approaching a potential large-scale tipping point, and we may be closer (both at local scales and across the whole system) than we previously thought.”

Basically, we can’t stop fighting.

And I doubt we’ll ever be able to rest on our laurels.

If you thought that was interesting, you might like to read about why we should be worried about the leak in the bottom of the ocean.