Logging is decreasing sharply in Brazil and Colombia

When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva became president of Brazil last year, he promised to tackle deforestation in the Amazon.

And now it appears to have partially paid off as a new analysis from the World Resources Institute shows that logging has declined sharply in both Brazil and Colombia, reports BBC.

In Brazil, forest losses were 36 percent lower in 2023 compared to the previous year, and part of the explanation, according to the researchers, is deliberate policies to reduce logging.

Higher than a few years ago

According to the researchers, these are important measures in terms of climate change, as the rainforest binds enormous amounts of carbon in trees and other vegetation.

But when the forest is cleared or burned, the carbon is released, in the form of carbon dioxide, which creates greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, writes The Nature Conservation Society.

And even though logging is largely down, tree losses in Brazil are still higher than they were in the early 2010s. Not all areas see a reduction either, in the Cerrado agricultural area, for example, tree losses increased by six percent.

“Had a profound impact”

In the case of Colombia, the primary forest loss decreased by almost half compared to 2022. There, too, a different type of policy in which the country’s president, Gustavo Petro Urregos, had a significant role.

– There is no doubt that the recent government actions and community involvement have had a profound impact on Colombia’s forests, says Alejandra Laina, from the World Resources Institute in Colombia.

At the same time, felling and the number of forest fires in Bolivia, Laos and Nicaragua have increased. In Bolivia, a record loss was recorded for the third year in a row, with an increase of 27 percent compared to 2022, in large part due to fires.

– Especially this year, we have seen that fires occur where they usually do not occur. The reason is climate change, warmer weather and people burning to expand agriculture, says Mikaela Weisse, director at Global Forest Watch.