BRASILIA (Reuters) – Norway, a major donor to the Amazon Fund, has pledged to protect its forests now that Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has returned to power and pledged to stop deforestation. He said the initiative to help had been reinstated.
“Brazil’s new president has expressed a clear ambition to stop deforestation by 2030,” Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide said in a statement Monday, aimed at combating the removal of vegetation in the Amazon. announced the revival of the fund.
“He has revived the strategy to make this happen and has appointed ministers with sufficient knowledge and expertise in this area,” Birth-Eide said.
The fund still holds about 3.4 billion reais ($620 million).
It has been frozen since August 2019, when far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro abolished the steering committee and action plan.
In 2008, during his early tenure as president, Lula established a fund to receive international donations to efforts to stop deforestation in Brazil. Payments are received only after deforestation has decreased. Funds will then be spent on such initiatives.
Norway contributed $1.2 billion initially, and Germany also contributed.
In his first decision after assuming a new presidential term on Sunday, Lula, along with broad representatives from civil society and other stakeholders, signed a decree reinstating the Amazon Foundation’s board.
He also signed a decree reestablishing Brazil’s strategy for reducing deforestation in the Amazon. That rate was the highest in his 15 years under Bolsonaro. Additionally, Lula has reversed policies that undermined environmental protections, including measures to encourage mining on protected indigenous lands.
Rebuilding the fund is “of global importance,” said Birth-Eide. “The Amazon Foundation provides a great opportunity to contribute to the international community.”
Britain is considering joining the fund, Environment Minister Therese Coffey told Reuters in Brasilia on Monday.read more
($1 = 5.4797 reais)
Reporting by Anthony Bodle.Editing by Bradley Perrette
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