The ultimatum given by Berlin to suspend a funding payment has been met with utter indifference from the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who replied with saying there was “no need” for the German aid, AFP reported on Sunday August 11th. The aid which is to tackle the deforestation threat was stopped due to surging deforestation.
Brazil is home to more than 60% of the Amazon forest, which is being cleared at an increasing rate to create more cropland.
Although there is an overall consensus towards the importance of the Amazon and the role it plays in the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, yet, concerns about the forest have grown since Bolsonaro took office in January.
"They can use this money as they see fit. Brazil doesn't need it," Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, told journalists in Brasilia.
His comments came after Germany, on Saturday August 10th, said it would block payment of 35 million euros ($40 million) to Brazil for forest conservation and biodiversity programs until the Amazon's rate of decline attained encouraging levels once again.
According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) roughly 2,254 square kilometres (870 square miles) of the Amazon were cleared in July, a spike of 278% from a year earlier.
In a statement given by German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze to the television news show Tagesspiegel, he expressed his worries about the Brazilian government policies in the Amazon that have subsequently raised doubts about continued, sustained declines in the rate of deforestation.
From 2008 until this year, Berlin paid 95 million euros in support of various environmental protection programs in Brazil, and has vowed nonetheless to continue supporting the Amazon Fund, a forest preservation initiative created in 2008.
Norway, on the other hand has contributed the most to the fund, yet, has threatened to withdraw, following last year threat that payments to Brazil would be cut in half and might be eliminated altogether.
Bolsonaro has been accused of favouring his supporters in the logging, mining and farming sectors. He has pledged to allow more farming and logging in the Amazon, and to grant more licenses to the mining industry, according to AFP.