Norway Plans to Withdraw Funds for Amazon Fund

After deforestation increase, Germany also suspended money for the Amazon

São Paulo and Manaus

The Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, announced on Thursday (15) that Norway will suspend the R$133 million (US$ 28 million) allocated to the Amazon Fund. According to Elvestuen, Brazil is breaking the agreement to reduce deforestation. Germany also announced last Saturday (10) that it would suspend part of its environmental protection funding for Brazil.

In a note, the Norwegian Embassy said that, given the dissolution of the councils that make up the fund, there is no "legal and technical basis for making the annual contribution" to the fund.

President Jair Bolsonaro (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

The minister and the embassy are referring to President Jair Bolsonaro's (PSL) decree in May. This decreer abolished civilian councils in the federal public administration, including those administering the Steering Committee of the Amazon Fund—Amazon Fund (Cofa) and the Amazon Fund Technical Committee (CTFA).

Some extinct councils have been recreated, but to the surprise of Norway and Germany, the Fund committee was left out.

Elvestuen also said that the deforestation numbers are growing significantly and that Brazil appears unwilling to stop deforestation.

"Norway stopped its support because Brazil is failing to do its part by not maintaining the Cofa (Amazon Fund Steering Committee)," Øyvind Eggen, director of the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), told Folha.

President Jair Bolsonaro criticized Norway on Thursday. He suggested that the European country send the money to Germany the amount that will no longer be sent to the Amazon Fund.

"Isn't Norway the one that kills whales up there at the North Pole? It also exploits oil there? It has nothing to offer us. It can take the money and helps [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel to reforest Germany.", Bolsonaro said. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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