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  • An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015.

    An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 August 2019

The inceased deforestation of the Amazon has been a driving factor for Brazil's far-right President, despite protests from opposition leaders and Brazilians about using the forest for commercial purposes. 

Germany has made the decision to suspend US$39 million in funds sent to Brazil to finance projects aimed at preserving the Amazon, Brazilian newspapers reported on Saturday. 

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According to the reports, Germany's decision to suspend these funds came in response to the increased deforestation of the Amazon, which has been repeatedly promoted by Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. 

The move reflects “great concerns with an increasing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon,” the German embassy in Brazil told Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, adding that the cut does not affect the Amazon Fund, to which Germany is a key donor.

According to O Globo newspaper, the decision concerns only funds destined to new projects financed by the Ministry of Environment.

Deforestation in Brazil’s rainforest surged 67% in the first seven months of the year, according to Brazil’s space research agency, though the government has claimed the data is unreliable and misleading.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain elected last year, has long been skeptical of environmental issues, and has repeatedly said the Amazon is a resource that belongs to Brazil, which Brazilians should choose how to administer.

Asked about Germany’s decision, Bolsonaro replied to journalists on Sunday: “Brazil does not need that.”

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