“Record Low: Amazon Deforestation Drops Over 20% in 5 Years!

Amazon Deforestation Falls 20% to Lowest Levels in 5 Years The Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, has experienced an unprecedented 20 percent drop in deforestation this year. According to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), this marks the lowest level of forest loss since 2015. The figures come from a study conducted by IBAMA, Brazil’s national environmental agency. The study analyzed deforestation figures collected throughout 2020 and showed that deforestation in the Amazon dropped by nearly 20 percent from 2019 levels, to about five thousand hectares (12,355 acres). This is the lowest amount of deforestation since 2015, which saw about 2,700 hectares (6,715 acres) of Amazon rainforest cleared. While the 2020 figures were encouraging, the overall rate of deforestation in the Amazon has been increasing since 2015. Deforestation in 2020 was still 45 percent higher than it was in 2015. In addition to the 20 percent drop in deforestation this year, the study also found that the rate of forest fire in the Amazon was significantly lower than recent years. IBAMA noted that there were an estimated 15,000 fires in the region, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. The causes of the decrease in deforestation and forest fires in 2020 are still being debated. Experts suggest that the overall decrease in business activity due to the global pandemic may be one of the factors driving the decrease. In addition, the Institute points to recent law enforcement efforts and political commitments made by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as other possible explanations. Despite the decrease in deforestation, the Amazon is still facing significant threats. Local communities are still dealing with increased land-grabbing and exploitation of the forests resources by illegal loggers. Furthermore, coronavirus outbreaks in remote indigenous communities have further threatened the safety of the people living in the Amazon. In addition, deforestation experts are worried that the decrease in deforestation this year may be only temporary. The IBAMA report showed that deforestation increases during certain months of the year, particularly during the dry season. If deforestation remains high in 2021, it could cancel out the gains made in 2020. The IBAMA report is an encouraging sign that deforestation efforts are having an effect in the Amazon. However, it is important to remember that much more needs to be done to protect the world’s largest tropical rainforest from destruction. The decrease in deforestation this year gives us some hope that it is possible to protect the Amazon, if the right steps are taken.