A deforested and burning area of the Amazon rainforest in the region of Labrea, state of Amazonas, northern Brazil. Credit: Douglas Magno / AFP / Getty 

ALTAMIRA, BRAZIL — Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by at least 60% in July compared to the same month last year, the environment minister, Marina Silva, has told the Guardian.

The good news comes ahead of a regional summit that aims to prevent South America’s largest biome from hitting a calamitous tipping point.

The exact figure, which is based on the Deter satellite alert system, will be released in the coming days, but independent analysts described the preliminary data as “incredible” and said the improvement compared with the same month last year could be the best since 2005.

The rapid progress highlights the importance of political change. A year ago, under the far-right then president, Jair Bolsonaro, the Amazon was suffering one of the worst cutting and burning seasons in recent history. But since a new administration led by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took power at the start of the year, the government […]

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