Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 66% last month compared to July 2022 and is now at its lowest rate in six years, according to preliminary data released by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Nearly 500 square kilometers (193 square miles) of rainforest were cleared in July, significantly down from 1,487 square kilometers (574 square miles) last July. Brazil's environment minister, Marina Silva, said government policies, including increasing surveillance and fining perpetrators, has played a big role. "It is the end of the expectation of impunity," said Silva. The preliminary data, which should be confirmed in the next few days, comes as the countries which contain parts of the Amazon prepared to meet on August 8 and 9 in the Brazilian city of Belem, for a summit aimed at increasing protection of the rainforest.

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