Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon falls in Lula's 1st month in office
Satellite data reveal that deforestation in Brazil's Amazon falls in January from a year earlier under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest decreased by 61% in January, after left-wing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva returned to the job, in comparison with the same period last year, according to an official report published on Friday.
The DETER monitoring system's satellite images revealed that a 167-square km area had been destroyed, according to the INPE space research institute.
Read: Brazilian Amazon deforestation, up 60% increase under Bolsonaro, drops
That area amounts equal to 22,000 football pitches when far-right climate change skeptic Jair Bolsonaro was in power.
The revelation came right ahead of the Brazilian President's due meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington.
Despite the year-over-year decrease in deforestation, the new figure is still higher than two of Bolsonaro's presidency's four years; in 2019, the area was 136 sq km and only 83 sq km in 2021.
Read: Save the Amazon! Stop Deforestation!
However, average annual deforestation increased by 75 percent in comparison with the previous decade, of Bolsonaro's presidency.
The policies instigated by Bolsonaro that favored the logging and agriculture industries, were the main reason for deforestation.
Last month's data "may reflect the resumption of the environmental defense agenda" that the Lula administration has put on its priority list, according to the Brazilian arm of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
However, the WWF warned that talking about a reversal of increasing deforestation is 'too early', since it usually peaks in the dry season that starts in June.
"The action plans for prevention and control of deforestation and forest fires must be restructured as a matter of urgency so that Brazil rediscovers its role as an international environmental leader," said Frederico Machado, a conservation specialist at WWF Brazil, who blamed Bolsonaro for his policies and accused him of being "anti-environmental" and "criminal."
It is worth noting that Lula presided over a sharp drop in deforestation when he previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010.
He has vowed to relaunch Brazil's environmental protection programs, fight for zero deforestation, and ensure that the South American giant is no longer a "pariah" when it comes to climate change.