Forest loss plummets in Brazil and Colombia

Forest loss plummets in Brazil and Colombia

By Ashmeeta Subra  April 11th, 2024

New data reveals a decline in primary forest loss in Brazil and Colombia, highlighting the significant impact of environmental reforms in curbing deforestation.


According to 2022-2023 data from the University of Maryland’s GLAD Lab and World Resource’s Institute (WRI), primary forests in Brazil experienced a 36 per cent decrease in deforestation under President Inácio Lula da Silva’s leadership, reaching its lowest level since 2015. Colombia nearly halved (by 49 per cent) its forest loss under the administration of President Gustavo Petro Urrego, who has prioritised rural and environmental reform.  

Forests are critical ecosystems for fighting climate change, supporting livelihoods, and protecting biodiversity. The forest loss data for this year reveals the positive outcomes achievable when leaders prioritise action, while also underscoring the pressing need to address missed opportunities in safeguarding our forests to secure them for the future.  

“Steep declines in the Brazilian Amazon and Colombia show that progress is possible, but increasing forest loss in other areas has largely counteracted that progress,” said WRI’s Global Forest Watch director, Mikaela Weisse, in a press release.  

“We must learn from the countries that are successfully slowing deforestation.”   

At the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, governments agreed on the need to halt and reverse the loss and degradation of forests by 2030, after a commitment by world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow to end their destruction this decade. To meet this target, sustained government action will be necessary to accelerate further progress to improve forest loss globally.   

A study published several years ago in the journal Science offers hope that even forests cut or burned down could regrow almost completely in just a couple decades if humans leave them to do so. The study looked at 77 different forest sites across the tropics that were abandoned after deforestation. When left without human intervention for 20 years, scientists found the forests regained 78 per cent of their original growth on average.  

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


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Ashmeeta Subra

With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.

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