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Brazil’s Amazon Fund has been revived thanks to new governance

After a decade of success, Brazil’s internationally-funded rainforest protection program was frozen in 2019 by President Jair Bolsonaro. Now, the nation’s Supreme Court has announced the Amazon Fund will continue operations by 2023.

Fridays are for good news, and luckily, there have been some great developments happening in regard to the Amazon Rainforest.

Following a close win by left-wing presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,  Brazil’s Supreme Court has announced that the nation’s largest rainforest protection scheme will be revived.

Named the Amazon Fund, it is a project that allows wealthy nations to fund efforts to halt deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

The fund was frozen in 2019 when President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration made massive changes to its governance structure. This included the seizure of many projects related to conservation in the Amazon Rainforest.

Bolsonaro’s decision to halt protection measures in the Amazon was based on the argument that commercial farming, mining, and logging were needed to reduce the region’s poverty levels.

The result of this decision led to unchecked pillaging of the Amazon, which the Supreme Court ruled ‘unconstitutional’. In almost five years of the Amazon Fund being frozen, deforestation in Brazil rose by more than 70 percent.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who set up the fund in 2008, has set the goal of reaching ‘zero deforestation,’ starting from his inauguration in January. Despite his fierce ambition, Lula da Silva labelled the job ahead of him ‘immensely challenging.’

Who is involved in the Amazon Fund?

The Amazon Fund is the largest fund for the protection of forestland ever created.

Germany, Norway, and Brazil’s governments each contributed to funding over 100 projects led by the organisation, which involved sustainable logging, recovery of deforested areas, and conservation of biodiversity.

Between 2008 and 2018, Norway paid $1.2 billion into the fund in order to finance sustainability projects and fight deforestation. Germany also donated more than $68 million.

The new government in Brazil has pledged to eliminate deforestation completely and will have until January 2023 to jumpstart the Amazon Fund back to its original level of operation.

Now unfrozen, money previously frozen in the fund will be put towards preventing, monitoring, and combating exploitative practices taking place in the rainforest. The amount held by the Amazon Fund currently sits at around $500 million.

In other good news, Germany has already confirmed it will continue to provide funding to the project.

The political win by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has reignited the spirits of many people in Brazil, who likened Bolsonaro’s leadership to Donald Trump’s. Along with halting the destruction of the rainforest, many believe his return to power will help solve issues related to social injustices related to race, gender, and class.

 

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