Understand how the Amazon Fund works, which the US will join

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This Friday (10), after a meeting between the presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), and of the United States, Joe Biden, the Americans announced that they will make donations to the Amazon Fund.

Created in 2008, the fund works with payments based on conservation results in the Amazon rainforest. Donations take place when there is a drop in deforestation rates, based on data from Inpe (National Institute for Space Research).

Since its inception, the mechanism has received funding from two countries, Norway, the biggest funder, and Germany. Payments are voluntary and can be made by other governments as well as companies.

New contributions were paralyzed during the Bolsonaro government, after a presidential decree that extinguished participatory councils — among them were two committees that monitored the actions of the Amazon Fund. With that, the Europeans suspended the transfers. In addition, successive deforestation records over the past four years have scared away new partners.

After the defeat of the former president in the 2022 elections, however, new investments and intentions for agreements began to be announced. Shortly after the second round, Norway said it would reactivate the tool and Germany declared investments of €35 million (about R$194 million), as a reward for positive deforestation data in 2017.

Since then, other countries have joined the chorus. On a visit to Brazil, the French Chancellor, Catherine Colonna, stated that France and the European Union are considering contributing to the fund. The United Kingdom also signaled that it was analyzing this possibility, and there would also be negotiations in this regard with Switzerland.

Furthermore, at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Marina Silva, said that the foundation led by actor Leonardo DiCaprio and the Bezos Foundation, which bears the name of the founder of Amazon, made contributions to the mechanism.

Understand how the Amazon Fund can be used

the background size

Since 2008, the Amazon Fund has raised a total of R$3.39 billion in donations. Most came from Norway (R$ 3.18 billion). Germany deposited R$ 192.6 million. Petrobras also donated R$17.2 million to the fund.

where does the money go

The purpose of the fund is to raise money for projects to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, in addition to actions for the conservation and sustainable use of the Amazon biome, but up to 20% of the resources can be used for other biomes.

who receives

Projects can be proposed by federal and state governments, by non-profit organizations, multilateral institutions and also by companies.

Governance

The fund is managed by the BNDES (National Bank for Economic and Social Development) along with two committees: a technical one, which certifies emissions data and calculations, and another advisor, with members of civil society, which defines criteria for the application of resources .

Redd, a Brazilian acronym

The mechanism works according to the Redd parameters (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), proposed by Brazil at the 2006 UN climate conference. The Amazon Fund became a reference for the definitions of safeguards of the global Redd mechanism, adopted in the following years.

diplomatic output

The fund simultaneously seeks to encourage donors’ confidence in the effectiveness of the application of resources and finance forests without generating carbon credits (a kind of “right to pollute”). In the case of the Amazon Fund, the reductions in carbon emissions are included in the Brazilian goal of the Paris Agreement and are not sold as a counterpart to donors.

key moment

With the proposal to resume inspection —paralyzed after the dismantling of environmental agencies in the previous government— Marina Silva’s management is betting on the use of Amazon Fund resources to recompose the ministry’s environmental control budget. The Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, has also stated that the portfolio will need funds from the fund.

Ana Carolina Amaral, from São Paulo, collaborated.

The Planeta em Transe project is supported by the Open Society Foundations.

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