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German Environment Minister to cut USD 40 million in aid to Brazil over increased deforestation of the Amazon

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12 August 2019

German Aid Official Says He Doesn't Plan to Quit Amazon Fund

Author: The Associated Press via The New York Times

Germany's top aid official says he has no plans to stop financing projects intended to protect the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, despite another German government ministry's decision to put other funds on hold.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said Saturday she was freezing about 35 million euros ($39.6 million) earmarked for biodiversity projects in Brazil because of the South American country's alleged lack of commitment to curbing logging in the Amazon, a key absorber of greenhouse gases.

But Germany's minister for economic cooperation and development, Gerd Mueller, said Monday that "anyone who wants to preserve the unique climate function of the rainforest must strengthen these measures, not end them."

Mueller's ministry contributes 55 million euros ($61.7 million) to the international Amazon Fund.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responded to Schulze's announcement by saying his country didn't need Germany's money.

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11 August 2019

Germany to Cut Amazon Funds to Brazil

Author: VOA News

Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday said his country does not need Germany's money after Berlin said it planned to cut $40 million in aid to preserve the dwindling Amazon rainforest.

"Brazilian government policies in the Amazon raise doubts about the continued sustained declines in the rate of deforestation," German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze told German television on Saturday.

Brazil's own National Institute for Space Research reported last week that more than 2,200 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest were cleared in July for mining, farming and cattle grazing -- 278% higher than in July 2018.

Bolsonaro's administration calls the data unreliable.

The ultra-conservative Bolsonaro has been accused of favoring the country’s mining and agricultural interests over the environmental impact of deforestation. 

He has said the Amazon and its resources belong to Brazil and it should be up to Brazilians to administer it.

But environmentalists have called the Amazon "the lungs of the Earth" because of its ability to help cleanse the air of greenhouse gases.

They say destroying the Amazon and other rainforests will make global warming worse and cause irreversible damage to the planet.

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