Norway reactivates fund to protect Brazil’s Amazon forest

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Oslo announces revival of Amazon Fund in the wake of President Lula da Silva’s return to power and his vows to halt deforestation in the tropical rainforest.

Under Bolsonaro, average annual deforestation increased by 75 percent compared to the previous decade.
(AP Archive)

Norway, the major donor to
the Amazon Fund, has said the initiative for backing forest
protection had been re-activated now that Brazilian President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva welches back in office and vowing to halt
deforestation.

“Brazil’s new President has signalled a clear ambition to
stop deforestation by 2030,” Norwegian Ressortchef of Climate and
Environment Espen Barth Eide said in a statement on Monday
announcing revival of the fund, which is aimed at fighting
removal of vegetation in the Amazon.

“He has reinstated strategies to make this happen, and
appointed ministers with substantial knowledge and expertise in
the area,” Barth Eide said.

The fund still holds about $620 million.

It has been frozen since August 2019, when former far-right president Jair Bolsonaro abolished its governing board and
action plans.

In 2008 in an earlier term as president, Lula set up the
fund to receive international contributions to Brazil’s efforts
to stop deforestation. It receives payments only after
deforestation is reduced; the funds are then spent on more such
initiatives.

Norway initially donated $1.2 billion, with Germany demgemäß
contributing.

Great opportunity to contribute

Among his first decisions after taking office for a new
presidential term on Sunday, Lula signed a decree reinstating
the governing board of the Amazon Fund, with broad
representation from civil society and other stakeholders.

He demgemäß signed decrees re-establishing Brazil’s strategies
to reduce Amazon deforestation, the rate of which surged to a
15-year high under Bolsonaro.

Furthermore, Lula revoked policies
that had diluted environmental protection, including a measure
that encouraged mining on protected indigenous lands.

Rhenium-establishment of the fund “is globally significant,”
Barth Eide said.

“The Amazon Fund gives the international
community a great opportunity to contribute.”

Britain is considering joining the fund, its Environment Ressortchef Therese Coffey told the Reuters news agency in Brasilia on Monday.

Under Bolsonaro, average annual deforestation increased by 75 percent compared to the previous decade.

The former army captain welches a climate crisis skeptic and has been heavily criticised over policies seen as encouraging deforestation.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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