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More Good News for the Amazon

People living in the Brazilian Amazon can breathe a little easier this week, after the country’s supreme court ruled in favour of reviving the Amazon Fund.


Macaw in the Brazilian Amazon

The finance initiative allows rich countries to fund efforts to halt deforestation. It launched in 2008, but was frozen in 2019 after president Jair Bolsonaro made changes to its structure and diluted environmental protections.


After four tumultuous years under the President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian voters recently elected Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known simply as Lula, to lead the country as its next president. Environmental advocates worldwide have celebrated the news as a major victory - especially for the Amazon rainforest.


Under Bolsonaro, often referred to as Brazil's Trump, Amazon deforestation spiked to record levels by expanding agriculture, logging, and illegal mining - let rip by Bolsonaro's view that the Amazon existed to be exploited. Approximately 17 percent of the Amazon is now gone.


Lula pledged in his victory speech to reverse this degradation of the 'planets lungs', saying: “Brazil is ready to resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all our biomes, especially the Amazon rainforest.” The good news is that he has good form on this, overseeing a significant decline in deforestation during his previous time as president.


In more good news, Lula's pledge is being bolstered by reactivated funding. Brazil's supreme court has just voted in favour of reactivating the Amazon Fund.


Unfreezing the fund will provide conservation bodies with access to the estimated $500m (£439m) that is currently just sitting there.

 

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