Quantcast

Amazon Deforestation Increase Prompts Germany to Cut $39.5M in Funding to Brazil

Politics
A spectacular wide view of the 82-foot-high Juruena waterfall, part of a corridor of Brazil's protected areas, on May 4, 2016 in the Amazon Rainforest. Contributor / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

Germany said Saturday it would suspend aid to Brazil aimed at helping protect the Amazon forest in light of the stark increase in rainforest clearings since President Jair Bolsonaro took office.


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

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

Brazil is home to more than 60 percent of the Amazon forest, which is being cleared at an increasing rate to create more cropland.

Concern about the forest has grown even more since Bolsonaro took office in January. The Brazilian leader doesn't 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 also scorns any advice from abroad.

Huge Concern for the Forest

Since 2008 until this year, Berlin has paid about €95 million ($106 million) in support of various environmental protection programs in Brazil.

The German government also contributes to the Amazon Fund, a forest preservation initiative created in 2008.

The fund has a total volume of just under €800 million ($891 million), and is funded by Norway and to a small extent also by Germany. It is not affected by the German 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.

But Bolsonaro's plans to also use the funds for the compensation of farmers have raised hackles.

Norway, which has contributed the most to the fund, has threatened to withdraw, and said last year that payments to Brazil would be cut in half and might be eliminated altogether.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More