“The king asked me to take care of Amazonia”

“The king asked me to take care of Amazonia”

The new British King Charles III has been involved for years. for the protection of the rainforests. In 2007, the then Prince of Wales even launched his own organization, the “Prince’s Rainforests Project”. “The first thing the king said to me was that I should take care of Amazonia,” said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at a press conference in London about a meeting with Charles on the occasion of his coronation. However, Lula also made it clear that he expects industrialized countries to do more to protect the forests.

The left-wing politician, who was elected Brazil’s president for the third time in October and took office in January, is seen on the international stage as a pioneer for the protection of Amazonia. Under his government, deforestation there was drastically reduced from 2003. At climate conferences in the noughties, Brazil fought under him for more ambitious climate goals. Now Lula’s goal is to achieve zero illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.

At the press conference in London, the former trade unionist criticized the rich industrial nations. They had not kept their promise made at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009 to raise 100 billion dollars a year for global forest protection. But he needs this help to protect the forest in Brazil, Lula explained. More than 60 percent of the Amazon forest is on Brazilian territory.#

£80m for Amazonia

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said at a meeting with Lula that Britain would provide £80m for the Amazon fund. So far, Norway and Germany had financed the fund, which promotes environmental protection projects in the Amazon region. Norway has already donated around 1.2 billion dollars, Germany around 68 million dollars. Brazil’s parastatal energy company Petrobras paid over $7 million into the fund.

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A few weeks ago, the USA pledged a contribution of 500 million dollars. However, the Congress there still has to release the funds, which will not be a sure-fire success. The aid should be linked to positive results in forest protection in Brazil. However, deforestation increased in the first months of the year. Data released in April for the first three months of 2023 shows that central Brazil’s Cerrado savannah region has recorded its highest level of deforestation since 2018 and the Amazon the second-highest since 2015.

The government explained this by saying that under the previous government of right-wing populist Jair Messiah Bolsonaro, the control authorities had been financially drained. Lula’s Environment Minister Marina Silva said it would take time to equip the environmental authorities to exercise effective control over the vast areas. The activities of the Amazon Fund largely ceased under Bolsonaro, who advocated economic exploitation of the areas. Now the unexpectedly high deforestation figures have also damaged Lula’s reputation.

Brazil’s rapprochement with China and Lula’s clumsy peace initiative in the Ukraine war also contribute to the disillusionment in the matter of Lula, in which the West had placed great hopes after various diplomatic disputes with Bolsonaro. At the same time, Brazilian diplomacy appears to be closer to the aggressor Russia than to the invaded Ukraine. Speaking to the press in London, Lula also criticized London’s detention of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as a “shame”.

#king #asked #care #Amazonia
2023-05-08 15:30:51


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