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Colombia 2022 deforestation forecast to drop by up to 10% – Reuters

Oliver Griffin, Reuters

EnergiesNet.com 05 16 2023

Deforestation in Colombia during 2022 is forecast to have fallen by up to 10% versus the previous year, Environment Minister Susana Muhamad said on Tuesday, citing significant decreases in the country’s Amazon.

The South American country is one of the world’s most biodiverse, with swathes of its continental territory covered by Amazon rainforest, which scientists say is vital to curbing catastrophic climate change, because of the vast amounts of greenhouse gases it absorbs.

Deforestation in Colombia in 2021 rose 1.5% versus the previous year to 1,741 square kilometers (430,218 acres), representing an area twice the size of New York City.

“We hope to have a total reduction (of deforestation) across the country of between 5% and 10%,” Muhamad said during a press conference at the environment ministry.

A 10% decrease in deforestation would take the total area of forest destroyed during 2022 in Colombia to below the 1,589 square kilometers registered in 2019, the first full year of the administration of former President Ivan Duque.

The projected national decrease is a result of a 15% to 25% fall in deforestation in three provinces which fall within Colombia’s Amazon region, Muhamad said, which traditionally accounts for close to two-thirds of forest destruction in the country.

However, in some areas deforestation numbers “have risen significantly,” Muhamad said, highlighting the provinces of Putumayo and Choco, as well as the San Lucas mountain range.

Deforestation in 12 of Colombia’s national parks in the Amazon during the first quarter of 2023 fell drastically to 398 hectares (3.98 square kilometers), from 9,260 hectares (92.6 square kilometers) in the year-earlier period, Muhamad added.

Between 2001 and 2021, more than 31,000 square kilometers of forest were destroyed in Colombia, of which some 18,600 square kilometers were deforested in the country’s Amazon.

Colombia’s government will publish full deforestation figures for 2022 in June, Muhamad said.

Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Marguerita Choy.

reuters.com 05 16 2023

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