French and Brazilian leaders announce investment plan for Amazon rainforest

French and Brazilian leaders announce investment plan for Amazon rainforest
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Fecha de publicación: 
27 March 2024
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The four-year deal will help environmental protections.

The Brazilian and the French presidents have announced a plan to invest one billion euro (£857 million) in the Amazon, including parts of the rainforest in neighbouring French Guiana.

The two countries’ governments said in a joint statement that the money will be spread over the next four years to protect the rainforest.

It will be a collaboration of state-run Brazilian banks and France’s investment agency. Private resources will also be welcomed, Brazil and France said.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are meeting this week to revive the relationship between the countries after years of frictions with former President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as deepening co-operation to protect the rainforest and boost trade.

French, Brazilian and Indigenous leaders

French President Emmanuel Macron, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Chief Raoni Metuktire, pose for photos on Combu Island, near Belem, Para state (AP)

 

Mr Macron started his three-day visit to Brazil in the Amazon city of Belem, where he met his long-time ally Mr Lula.

The French leader then took a boat to the Combu island to meet with Indigenous leaders.

Both Mr Macron and Mr Lula saw a protest by Greenpeace Brazil with banners that read “No oil in the Amazon”.

Brazil’s government has contemplated allowing the tapping of oil in a region close to the Para state, where Belem lies.

Mr Lula said during a speech that Mr Macron’s visit is part of a global effort to beef up rainforest protections.

“We want to convince those who have already deforested that they need to contribute in an important way to countries that still have their forests to keep them standing,” Mr Lula said in a speech alongside his French counterpart.

Mr Macron’s office prior said to the trip that a potential European trade deal with the South American bloc Mercosur will not be on the agenda.

French and Brazilian leaders

Mr Macron honoured Indigenous leaders (AP)

 

The French president is an opponent of such an agreement as long as South American producers do not respect the same environment and health standards as Europeans, after farmers raised concerns during protests across France and Europe.

The French president decorated Indigenous leader Raoni Metuktire with the prestigious Legion d’Honneur medal for efforts at conserving the rainforest.

“You were in Europe and I promised to come here to your forest and be with your people in this forest that is coveted,” Mr Macron told the Indigenous leader, according to French radio RFI. “President Lula and I have a common cause for one of our friends in this land that belongs to you.”

Mr Lula and Mr Macron will seek to “set a common course” to fight both climate change and poverty, Mr Macron’s office said, with Brazil preparing to host the summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in Rio de Janeiro in November and UN climate talks in Belem next year.

On Wednesday, the two leaders will launch a diesel-powered submarine built in Brazil with French technology at the Itaguai shipyard outside Rio de Janeiro.

The French President will then head to Sao Paulo to meet with Brazilian investors. On Thursday, Mr Macron will head to Brasilia to again meet with Mr Lula.

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