/ languages

Choisir langue


Fund to fight Amazon deforestation launched

Article published on the 2008-08-02 Latest update 2008-08-02 15:37 TU

Forest on the Amazon(Photo: Wikimedia)

Forest on the Amazon
(Photo: Wikimedia)

Brazil has set up a fund to fight the disappaerance of the Amazon rainforest. President Luis Inaciao Lula da Silva signed a decree on Friday to set up the Amazon Fund, which hopes to receive up to 14 billion euros in contributions over the next 13 years. It may also help other tropical countries preserve their ecosystems.

Donations will be administered by a state bank the National Economic and Social Development Banks (BNDES). Environment Minister Carlos Minc says that Norway has already pledged 64 million euros in September.

"Donations are voluntary and donors have no say over the use of the resources," said BNDES Environment Director Eduardo de Mello, who also said that donors will get no benefits, such as carbon credits or tax exemptions, in return.

Minc's predecessor as Environment Minister Marina Silva resigned recently, declaring that she could not fight vested interests devoted to destroying the forest to cultivate cash crops.

Correspondent Tom Philips says that the fund is the government's response to international criticism of deforestation in the Amazon region.

"The Brazilians say that, instead of meddling and saying Brazil isn’t doing enough to save the Amazon, outsiders need to do more to help. So with this fund, I think, they aim to send a message – ‘You want this situation to get better, put your money where your mouth is’," he told RFI.

Up to 20 per cent of the fund's cash can go to preserving ecosystems outside the Amazon, which could be in other tropical countries.