Brazil wants $1 billion foreign support to fight Amazon deforestation

Cows graze on a field that was burnt out in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil, photo: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes
Cows graze on a field that was burnt out in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil, photo: Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

Brazil’s environment minister Ricardo Salles wants $1 billion support from foreign countries to help reduce deforestation in the Amazon between 30% and 40%, according to an interview published on Saturday in the Brazilian newspaper Estadão.

“The plan is $1 billion over 12 months,” Salles told the newspaper. “If those resources were available to be used to fight deforestation, we can commit to a reduction of between 30% and 40% in 12 months.”

A third of the money would be used to finance actions to fight deforestation directly, Salles said, while the remaining two-thirds would be used for economic development, to give people who have benefited from the rainforest alternative opportunities.

He added that he had asked the United States for money and had also asked Norway “if they wanted to collaborate”.

“If we don’t get the money, we will do the best we can with our resources, but I cannot commit to a specific percentage of (deforestation) reduction,” Salles said.

Brazil has been criticized for failing to stop deforestation in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest. Last year, massive fires devastated the Amazon; the fires were set to clear land for mostly cow and soy farming.

The Amazon rainforest is home to many animals, like jaguars, pumas, monkeys, tapirs and many bird species. Deforestation is destroying their homes and killing them at a rapid rate.

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