'No need' for German Amazon subsidy: Brazil's Bolsonaro

Cheryl Sanders
August 12, 2019

His comments come after German media reported that Berlin was considering withdrawing the funding.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain elected a year ago, has always been sceptical of environmental issues, and has repeatedly said the Amazon is a resource that belongs to Brazil, which Brazilians should choose how to administer.

The government will launch a campaign to defend Brazilian exports, he told reporters.

"The country doesn't need this", the far-right president known for his ties to agribusiness told reporters about a possible loss of German funding in Brazil's vast Amazon rainforest.

Germany made a decision to suspend 35 million euros (32.6 million pounds) in funds sent to Brazil to finance projects aimed at preserving the Amazon forest due to increasing deforestation, Brazilian media outlets reported on Saturday.

Brazil is home to more than 60% of the Amazon rainforest, which is being cleared at an increasing rate to create more cropland. The Amazon is vital for the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere and an important check on global warming.

But concern about the forest has grown since Bolsonaro took office in January.

Deforestation in the Amazon in July of this year experienced a 278 percent increase over the same month last year. He has instead pledged to allow more clearances and make more economic use of the Amazon region. The former military officer has also scorned any advice from overseas.

Germany nonetheless plans to continue supporting the Amazon Fund, a forest preservation initiative created in 2008.

The DETER data showing the increased destruction in the Amazon triggered a crisis between INPE and president Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), which peaked with the dismissal of the institute's director, Ricardo Galvão, last Friday.

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