Brazil launches global Amazon fund

Government hopes to raise $1bn from wealthy nations to finance conservation.

    Logging is devasting parts of the
    Brazilian rainforest[Reuters]

    Norway will make the first donation - $100m - in September, said Eduardo Bandeira de Mello, head of Environment and Social Responsibilities at BNDES.

    Illegal logging

    Brazil has urged wealthy nations to help pay for the conservation of the Amazon.

    Not chopping down trees had a cost, especially to millions of people living in the Amazon, Lula told Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, when she visited in May.

    Illegal loggers usually pave the way for farmers and cattle ranchers to move deeper into the forest in search of cheaper land.

    However, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, the Brazilian minister for strategic affairs, said the country would not accept foreign states interfering in its Amazon policy.

    "The fund is a vehicle by which foreign governments can help support our initiatives without exerting any influence over our national policy," Unger said.

    "We are not going to trade sovereignty for money."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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