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Germany to suspend Amazon aid to Brazil

Germany to suspend Amazon aid to Brazil”

The release falls in the midst of an ongoing feud between INPE scientists and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic who vowed on the campaign trail to open more of the Amazon to various mining, logging and agricultural interests, despite environmental protections on the land.

Brazil is home to more than 60% of the Amazon rainforest, which is being cleared at an increasing rate to create more cropland. "Brazil doesn't need it", Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, told journalists in Brasilia.

Quoting Environment Minister Svenja Schulz, German daily Tagesspiegel reported Saturday the government planned to stop sending money to a country that is not fully committed to curbing deforestation in the Amazon.

Germany disbursed €95 million between 2008 and 2019 for various Brazilian environmental conservation projects.

Data from INPE, an institution of worldwide repute, shows that deforestation has increased 40 percent in the last twelve months compared with the same period a year ago.

"Brazil doesn't need this", Bolsonaro told reporters here.

The Bolsonaro administration has questioned the efficiency of the Amazon Fund and pushed for an internal overhaul, threatening to lose funding from Norway and Germany.

Norway and Germany, two of its largest contributors, have threatened to withdraw, with Norway saying past year that payments to Brazil would be halved and might even be eliminated altogether.

"You think that the big countries are interested in Brazil's image, or do they want to appropriate Brazil?" he said.

But Environment Minister Ricardo Salles said the INPE data was published in a way that satisfied "sensationalist interpretations" and was aimed at getting "more donations from foreign NGOs". He has instead pledged to allow more clearances and make more economic use of the Amazon region.



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