On Wednesday, the Norwegian government reaffirmed its environmental commitment to the Brazilian Amazon region and announced that it will help in seeking additional resources from other donors to maintain the world's largest rainforest and jungle.
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The announcement was made during a meeting between Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva and her Norwegian counterpart Espen Barth Eide at which they analyzed details of the Amazon Fund, a mechanism in which Norway has been the main collaborator.
After the meeting, Silva announced that a package of 14 sustainable development projects, which had been frozen during the Presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, now will have priority.
"We are continuing support and we are also trying to mobilize other donors to come in because we think this has been a very successful model," the Norwegian minister said, adding that his county is "very happy" to work with President Lula da Silva.
The projects include efforts to halt deforestation in the Amazon, to push forward with bioeconomic activities and to provide food security and protection to Indigenous peoples.
Silva said that the issues linked to climate change are also a priority for the Lula administration, adding that Brazil must look to clean energy sources.
The Amazon Fund was created in 2008 and operated until 2019, when the Bolsonaro administration decided to deactivated it amid a campaign to implement policies to push for increased mining and other economic activities in the region.
On his first day as Brazilian president, Lula overturned those policies and ordered the reactivation of the Amazon Fund, to which he now wants to attract the United States, China and France, among other big economic powers.
Currently, the Amazon Fund oversees some US$1 billion contributed by Norway and Germany and expectations are that the U.S. will join the effort with an initial donation of US$50 million.