Brazil has a new plan to reduce deforestation by 70 percent over the next decade. Starting what it calls the Amazon Fund, the nation hopes to garner financial support from monetarily stable countries. Norway has already pledged $1 billion over the coming seven years. The aid, however, depends on evidence that deforestation rates have reduced as planned.
Brazil’s Environment Minister Carlos Minc told the BBC, “Just in terms of avoided deforestation in the Amazon, the plan foresees a reduction of 4.8bn tons of carbon dioxide that won’t be emitted up to 2018 – which is more than the reduction efforts fixed by all the rich countries.” As the Amazon also hosts major rivers and harvests significant quantities of rainwater, the improvement would benefit the nation’s people and its environment.
But some environmentalists fear the rate is not fast enough. “In adopting timid targets the government is showing that it is going in the right direction, but at the wrong speed,” said Sergio Leitao, director of public politics for Greenpeace in Brazil. He also worries that depending on international aid during an economic downturn might thwart the nation’s capacity to fund scheduled reductions.
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