Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 68% in April – but will it continue?


Deforestation is the permanent removal of trees to make way for something else, such as agriculture, development, or infrastructure. It is a major threat to the Amazon rainforest, which is the world’s largest rainforest.

In April 2023, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 68% compared to the same month in 2022. This is the first significant drop since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office at the start of this year.

Causes of deforestation

There are many causes of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Agriculture: The Amazon rainforest is cleared to make way for crops such as soybeans, cattle ranching, and palm oil plantations.
  • Logging: The Amazon rainforest is home to a wide variety of valuable timber, which is often logged illegally.
  • Mining: The Amazon rainforest is also home to a variety of minerals, which are often mined illegally.
  • Infrastructure: The Amazon rainforest is being cleared to make way for roads, railways, and other infrastructure projects.

Impacts of deforestation

Deforestation has a number of negative impacts on the Amazon rainforest and the people who live there. Some of the most serious impacts include:

  • Climate change: The Amazon rainforest is a major carbon sink, meaning it absorbs more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it releases. Deforestation releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.
  • Watersheds: The Amazon rainforest is home to many important watersheds, which provide water for drinking, irrigation, and hydroelectric power. Deforestation can damage watersheds and reduce the amount of water available.
  • Biodiversity: The Amazon rainforest is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Deforestation can lead to the loss of biodiversity, which can have a number of negative impacts on the environment.
  • Indigenous peoples: The Amazon rainforest is home to many Indigenous peoples. Deforestation can displace Indigenous peoples and disrupt their way of life.


The sharp drop in deforestation in April 2023 is a positive sign, but it is too early to say whether this trend will continue. President Lula has made a number of commitments to protect the Amazon rainforest, but several major infrastructure projects threaten to derail this progress. It is important to continue to monitor the situation and to support efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest.

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