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UK might contribute to Brazil's Amazon Fund

Wednesday, January 4th 2023 - 09:39 UTC
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Coffey said the UK has much to offer Brazil Coffey said the UK has much to offer Brazil

The United Kingdom might join Germany and Norway as a donor to Brazil's Amazon Fund to boost sustainability in the rainforest, British Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said.

“It's something we are seriously looking at,” Coffey told reporters during her visit to Brazil, where she attended President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva's inauguration.

The UK is considering joining the billion-dollar Fund reopened by Lula and talks are already underway with the two European contributors. The fund was frozen during the Jair Bolsonaro administration citing irregularities among projects managed by NGOs which never went beyond mere allegations.

One of Lula's first decisions after taking office was to repeal Bolsonaro's policies that weakened environmental protection and helped contribute to deforestation reaching the highest level in 15 years, including a measure that encouraged mining on protected indigenous lands.

Coffey said the UK has much to offer Brazil, including rural sustainability programs and low-carbon architecture to help mobilize funds with its strength as a global center for green finance.

The UK is already Brazil's third largest contributor to the environment, having committed more than £ 250 million from its international pilot fund, Coffey said after meeting with Brazil's Environment Minister Marina Silva, Agriculture Minister Carlos Fávaro, and Indigenous Peoples Minister Sonia Guajajara.

“It is very important on my first day of work to have the UK sharing the same goals,” said Fávaro, who also had a meeting with Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yuliia Svrydenko.

Indigenous communities have been especially hard hit by illegal mining that has advanced along with deforestation in the Amazon under Bolsonaro's administration. “I see a desire and intention to change this,” Coffey said.

According to the British minister, her country has much to offer Brazil, including rural sustainability programs and low-carbon architecture to help mobilize funds with its strength as a global center for green finance.

As founders of the Amazon Fund, Norway and Germany initially contributed US$ 1.2 billion. The fund currently has some R$ 3.2 billion (US$ 600 million) available for environmental protection projects.

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