Brazil's supreme court rules to reactivate fund to protect Amazon rainforest

AFP - MICHAEL DANTAS

Environmental activists in Brazil and the governments of Norway and Germany on Friday welcomed a supreme court ruling that clears the path for Brazil's new government to relaunch a multibillion euro international programme aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest.

The Amazon Fund – created in 2008 to help the fight against deforestation – was suspended in April 2019 when President Jair Bolsonaro's ministers decided to revamp the way it operated.

But on Thursday night seven of the supreme court's 11 judges said the administration of newly elected President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva must return the Amazon Fund to its old operating structure before the end of January 2023.

The court said that the changes made to the fund's governance structure were unconstitutional.

'A big day'

A statement from the Observatorio do Clima described the decision as a big day.

"In yet another historic decision for climate protection and against the environmental dismantling promoted by the Bolsonaro regime, the supreme court condemned the federal government," it added.

Norway paid nearly 1.5 billion euros into the fund between 2008 and 2018 to finance sustainability projects and help reduce deforestation in the world's largest rainforest. Germany also donated nearly 70 million euros.

As as response, Norway and Germany withdrew their support.


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