Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon has slowed for a fourth consecutive year to its lowest rate since authorities began monitoring the world’s largest rainforest, officials said Tuesday.

The National Institute of Space Research found that the Amazon lost 4,656 square kilometers (1,797 square miles) of rain forest over a period running from August 2011 to July 2012, 27 percent less than the previous year.

“It is the lowest deforestation rate since Brazil began its monitoring” in 1988, said Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira.