Germany Suspends Brazil Projects over Amazon Deforestation

Deforestation in the Amazon region of Brazil. Photo: DW

HAVANA TIMES – Due to the sharp increase in rainforest clearings in Brazil, the German Environment Ministry has decided to stop funding projects for the protection of the forests and biodiversity in the country, reported dpa news.

“The policy of the Brazilian government in the Amazon raises doubts as to whether a consistent reduction of deforestation rates is still being pursued,” Environment Minister Svenja Schulze told Saturday’s edition of the the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel.

Only when this becomes clear again can the project cooperation be continued, she said.

Initially the amount that will be stopped is around 35 million euros (39.5 million dollars), the newspaper reported.

The new right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, does not want to designate any further protected areas, pledging instead to allow more clearances and make more economic use of the Amazon region. The former military officer scorns any advice from abroad.

The German government also contributes to the so-called Amazonas Fund. The fund, with a total volume of just under 800 million euros, is funded by Norway and to a small extent also by Germany. It is not affected by the Environment Ministry’s action.

The money is to be used to stop the deforestation of the rainforest, to finance reforestation projects and to support the indigenous population.

Recently, however, Bolsonaro’s plans to also use the funds for the compensation of farmers have raised eyebrows.