The figure is the highest February total since records began in 2015. However, because deforestation figures were lower than average in January, total deforestation fell 22% in the first two months of 2023 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
The country’s new president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, popularly known as Lula, has vowed to end the illegal logging that thrived under his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.
The administration has revived the Amazon Fund, set up under the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to raise donations for projects that prevent, monitor and combat deforestation.
It has also reappointed Marina Silva to the environmental ministry. She held the portfolio in the last Lula administration and oversaw a decline in deforestation – but there is insufficient data so far to show if the new administration’s turnaround is working, Reuters reports.
The news agency quoted a spokesperson for Greenpeace in Brazil, Romulo Batista, who said “As long as enforcement and control do not reach the entire region, illegal deforesters may exploit that to ramp up this deforestation”.