Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by at least 60 per cent in July compared with last year, according to Environment Minister Marina Silva. Independent analysts reckon the actual figure could be as high as 70 per cent, the Guardian reports. On one level, the results underscore the importance of political leadership. Under the populist President Bolsonaro, deforestation surged. Since his defeat in last October’s election, the left-wing government of Luís Inacio Lula da Silva has clamped down on logging. But it’s not just government policy. Satellite imagery is detecting illegal logging faster than ever before, landowners who clear trees are less likely to get credit from banks, and EU trade law trade makes deforestation less attractive for farmers who want to export food to Europe’s giant market.
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