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Norway to resume aid halted to Brazil over deforestation

AFP
AFP - [email protected] • 31 Oct, 2022 Updated Mon 31 Oct 2022 10:48 CEST
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Increases in fires have accompanied the uptick in deforestation in the Amazon. Photo by Karsten Winegeart / Unsplash

Norway, which halted Amazon protection subsidies to Brazil in 2019 under Jair Bolsonaro's presidency, will resume its collaboration with Brasilia following the victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's victory in presidential elections, the Scandinavian country's environment minister told AFP.

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"We had a good and very close collaboration with the government before Bolsonaro and deforestation in Brazil declined greatly under Lula da Silva's (previous) presidency", Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide told AFP.

"Then we had a head-on collision with Bolsonaro whose approach was diametrically opposed when it came to deforestation".

Norway was the biggest donor for the protection of Amazon rain forest, but like Germany, halted its aid to Brazil in 2019 after Bolsonaro took power.

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Under the far-right leader, deforestation of the Amazon accelerated by 70 percent, a level Barth Eide described as "scandalous".

He said some five billion kroner ($483 million) in unused aid was waiting to be disbursed in the Amazon Fund for Forest Conservation and Climate Protection.

"We note that during the campaign he (Lula) emphasised the conservation of the Amazon forest and the protection of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon," Barth Eide told AFP.

"This is why we are eager to make contact with his teams, as quickly as possible, to prepare for a resumption of the historically good collaboration between Brazil and Norway".

Lula, who served as president between 2003 and 2011, said after his election victory on Sunday that Brazil was "ready to reclaim its place in the fight against the climate crisis, especially the Amazon."

He vowed to "fight for zero deforestation."

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AFP 2022/10/31 10:48

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