Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula, ran on the promise that he would stop the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
And while most politicians make grand promises during their campaigns, President Lula actually has a record of slowing deforestation.
Back in 2003, when Lula became the president of Brazil for the first time, he prioritized protecting the Amazon rainforest, which is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
During his first two terms, the amount of deforestation in the nation dropped by almost 75%, representing an enormous victory for the forest as well as efforts to fight the overheating of the planet.
So far, President Lula has not disappointed supporters hoping for a repeat performance on stopping the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which primarily exists within the borders of Brazil.
In the first month of his third term, President Lula has already slowed Brazilian deforestation of the Amazon by over 60%.
During his election campaign, Lula pledged to protect the Amazon rainforest.— Michael Thomas (@curious_founder) February 16, 2023
In his first month in office, deforestation rates fell by 61%.
The remarkable drop in deforestation can be in part attributed to a score of anti-deforestation raids aiming to flush out ranchers and loggers who are illegally clearing swaths of the rainforest.
Although there is little doubt that the early data is encouraging for the health of the rainforest and the planet, some experts want more information before declaring President Lula’s environmental efforts to be successful.
Daniel Silva, a conservation specialist working for the World Wide Fund for Nature, told Reuters that while “it is positive to see such a relevant drop in January … it is still too early to talk about a trend reversal.”
But if the trend continues, it will be a huge deal. Ending the cutting of the Amazon rainforest is critical not just to Brazil, but worldwide. The forest — often called the “lungs of the planet” — helps absorb much of the harmful carbon pollution responsible for heating up the Earth.
And while various predictions posit that it may still take a couple of years before meaningful progress at slowing deforestation is achieved, it seems the crisis is in a better position with President Lula at Brazil’s helm.
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