Saturday, 2 August 2008

Brazil launches rainforest fund

Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has just launched an international fund to protect the Amazon rainforest and help combat climate change. The fund will promote alternatives to forest-clearing for people living in the Amazon, and support conservation and sustainable development. Officials will seek donations abroad and aim to raise $21bn (£11bn) by 2021. This target is too far in the future, as its fast disapearing, but at least its a start.

Greenpeace said it was the first time Brazil had accepted a link between global warming and preserving the rainforest. Carlos Minc (pictured left with the President) has taken over as environment minister recently from Marina Silva, who resigned in frustration at the government's environment policies in May. Mr Minc is a founder of Brazil's Green Party, and has the right credentials.

Roberto Mangabeira Unger, minister for strategic affairs, said "The fund is a vehicle by which foreign governments can help support our initiatives without exerting any influence over our national policy.

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