Norway May End Rainforest Aid to Brazil

Norwegian government can stop funding Brazil for Save the Rainforests Initiative, if president Temer does not work for conservation in the Amazon.

President Temer (on right) during the inauguration ceremony of Grace Maria Fernandes Mendonça as Attorney General of the Union. Photo: Lula Marques/Agência PT

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Brazil’s president Michel Temer is in Norway. Rainforest Foundation Norway and WWF suggest the Norwegian government to threaten him to stop the rainforest preservation grant, if he does not work for conservation in the Amazon.

Brazil’s President, Michel Temer is in Norway for two-day official visit. Environment organizations mobilize to put pressure on Temer, whose country has been receiving billions of NOK grants from Norway for preservation of Rain Forests.

After a great deal of pressure from environmental organizations, and signature campaigns by celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Leonardo DiCaprio, Temer vetoed two bills that would weaken the conservation of 600,000 hectares rainforest.

But the Brazilian President’s veto does not guarantee the conservation of the rainforest, writes NRK.

Because Brazil’s Minister for the Environment announced that the government will propose another bill to remove the protection of the Jamanxim National Park.

Just play to the gallery

Secretary General of WWF Norway, Nina Jensen said to NRK the president’s veto seems to be just a play to the gallery to calm down the conversations and Norwegian authorities.

– For the past three years, we have seen systematic attempts by the Brazilian government and the Congress to weaken forest protection and indigenous peoples’ rights,” says Lars Løvold, chairman of the Rainforest Foundation Norway.

WWF and the Rainforest Foundation hope that Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will make it clear to Temer that Norway is very concerned about the development.

– She should threaten to end all the support for the Amazon fund, if Temer does not commit to change the development, “says Løvold to NRK.

Norway can stop the support

The climate and environmental minister Vidar Helgesen believes they are concerned about the developments in Brazil. But he says that Temer’s veto was important and should be celebrated.

– The increased deforestation will halve the Norwegian contribution. Even a fairly limited increase in deforestation this year will end Norwegian payments to the Amazon Fund, says Helgesen to NRK.

Brazilian Embassy in Norway: Criticism is unfair

The Brazilian Embassy in Oslo thinks Rainforest Foundation Norway and WWF criticism is unfair.

– Brazil’s government is completely committed to sustainability and the Paris agreement, and to fight deforestation. With the president’s veto, new discussions have now begun, where several sectors of the Brazilian community are allowed to participate in the debate, writes the embassy to NRK.

The Embassy points out that Brazil will confirm its commitments to the cooperation with the Norwegian government.

Deforestration in Brazil

Since 1970, nearly 300,000 square miles have been destroyed, according to Vice. But the rate of deforestation had actually slowed for much of the past decade, reflecting the “Save the Rainforest” initiative supported by countries around the world, including several countries that share the Amazon with Brazil, to reach zero net deforestation by the year 2020.

Now, however, the easing of environmental regulations in Brazil once again accelerates the demise of Brazil’s portion of the Amazon, known as Amazonia — deforestation rates were up 29 percent from the previous year.

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