We last reported in the middle of 2023 that the rate had fallen by 34% compared to the same time frame in 2022. This trend seems to have continued even further towards the end of the year!
Even though these are great and important developments, it does need to be stated that although the amount of deforestation fell, the cleared area still amounts to 29 times the size of Washington DC. Furthermore, the Cerrado savanna south of the Amazon recorded a record of 7,800 km² cleared – the highest since monitoring began in 2018. This is a less known, but similarly important ecosystem and its conservation is crucial to global climate mitigation – mainly due to the trees’ deep roots, with 70% of its biomass lying below ground. In total therefore, the deforestation of these two regions together was down by only 18% from 2022.
Mariana Napolitano of WWF-Brasil summarised this by stating: "We saw some important victories on the environment in 2023. The significant reduction in deforestation in the Amazon was a highlight, but unfortunately we aren't seeing the same trend in the Cerrado... That is harming the biome and the extremely important ecosystem services it provides. And we saw the impact at the end of the year, with extremely high temperatures."