Brazil Seeks Development Bank Help to Fight Amazon Deforestation

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By Michael Kepp

Dec. 9 — Brazil is seeking nearly $43 million from the country’s development bank to deal with an unexpectedly steep two-year rise in Amazon deforestation.

Brazil’s National Space Research Institute announced Nov. 29 that an estimated 3,000 square miles of Brazil’s Amazon region was lost in the year ending July 31—a 29 percent spike over the previous year. That followed a 24 percent increase the year before.

IBAMA, the Environment Ministry’s enforcement arm, asked Brazil’s Development Bank (BNDES) for 148 million reais ($42.7 million) from its Amazon Fund to try and stem the deforestation, a top IBAMA official told Bloomberg BNA

“We lack a budget sufficient enough to buy the high-tech tools needed to step up our efforts to combat Amazon deforestation, whose rate is rising,” Jair Schmitt, IBAMA’s head of environmental enforcement, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 5.

In November, BNDES agreed to give IBAMA 56.3 million reais ($16.3 million) from the fund to pay for leasing helicopters and four-wheel drive vehicles. But that was just the second time BNDES has given money to IBAMA, which normally operates with government funds.

The $1 billion Amazon Fund, whose two main donors are Norway and Germany, has disbursed $600 million since 2008 to curb Amazon deforestation, reforest degraded areas, and promote forest conservation and sustainable development. Much of the money has gone to non-government groups.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Kepp in Rio de Janeiro at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at ghenderson@bna.com

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