Reuters reports that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose 14% in March from the previous year, according to preliminary data , highlighting challenges for new President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who took office Jan. 1st. DaSilva pledged to end deforestation following years of surging under his predecessor, who slashed Amazon environmental protection.
This increase shows the Amazon still suffers from a huge lack of governance and the new government needs to urgently rebuild capacity to halt environmental crime, destroyed by last government, said local environmental group Climate Observatory. The latest figures present a mixed picture on anti-deforestation thus far with destruction for January to March falling to 326 square miles, a 11% decrease from prior year. Climate Observatory said there are only four months left to improve –calling a decrease in the Amazon final rates in 2023 unlikely.
In February in Brasilia, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said that the world cannot meet its climate goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius unless it protects the Amazon rainforest.
Amazon Fund gaining sponsors: Washington announced at the beginning of the year it intended to contribute to Brazil’s Amazon Fund, which supports conservation projects. Norway also pledged its support last month for Brazil’s efforts to attract additional donor countries for the Fund.