"The deployment of teams for the start of inspection operations began on 16 January, 2023," Ibama told AFP.

Average Amazon deforestation soared by 75 per cent during Bolsonaro's presidency, compared with the previous decade.

"The environmental team put in place by the federal government has, since the beginning of the transition period, been working to build a plan capable of inverting the rate of deforestation seen these last few months," added Ibama.

On Wednesday, Lula told the Globo News television channel that he wanted to create a federal police force to "act in a stronger manner" to protect forests.

He also said he wanted to arrange a meeting with the other South American countries that share the Amazon to discuss a continental preservation policy.

Lula said he would fight deforestation "by any means" and added: "I will need the armed forces, I will need the federal police force."

Since taking office on 1 January, Lula has signed a series of decrees pertaining to the protection of the Amazon.

He also reactivated an Amazon protection fund that had been frozen since 2019 due to a disagreement between the Bolsonaro government and major donor countries Norway and Germany over how to spend the money.

And Lula revoked a Bolsonaro decree authorizing mining exploitation in Indigenous areas and protected zones.