Today (2) the UK announced a donation of an additional £35 million (about R$215 million) to the Amazon Fund. The announcement was made by UK Energy Security Minister Claire Coutinho during the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
In May, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak already announced a contribution of £80 million (about R$500 million) to the Amazon Fund. The contract to transfer this first amount was signed on Saturday (2), during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23).
The contract was signed with the President of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), Aloisio Mercadante. The Public Development Bank is responsible for managing the Amazon Fund. Environment Minister Marina Silva also attended.
Created in 2008, the Amazon Fund is considered the main international initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve forests. Countries such as Norway, Germany, USA, Switzerland and now the UK are donors to the Fund.
Since its establishment, the Amazon Fund has received R$3.4 billion and has financed more than 102 projects to conserve forests and promote sustainable activities in the Amazon region, with a total investment of R$1.75 billion.
In 2019, under the government of Jair Bolsonaro, the then Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, extinguished the two committees responsible for managing the Amazon Fund’s resources, making project financing and continuity of donations impossible.
The existence of these committees is a contractual condition for donors, to prevent the use of funds for other purposes. According to BNDES data, Brazil stopped investing about R$3 billion in environmental actions between 2019 and 2022, an amount that remained retained in the fund after the dissolution of the steering committees.
In October 2022, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) ordered the union to take the necessary measures to reactivate the Amazon Fund. The majority of ministers then concluded that the extinction of the commissions was unconstitutional, as it would constitute a failure on the part of the government in its duty to preserve the Amazon.
The committees, reconstituted by decree issued by President Lula on January 1, 2023, have resumed their activities, allowing new contributions of resources.
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