Norway suspends cash for Amazon fund over dispute with Brazil

by Reuters
Thursday, 15 August 2019 20:15 GMT

OSLO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Norway has suspended funding that was supporting measures to curb deforestation in Brazil after the South American country blocked the operations of a fund receiving the aid, the Norwegian ministry of climate and environment said on Thursday.

Norway has worked closely with Brazil to protect the Amazon rainforest for more than a decade, and has paid some $1.2 billion to the Amazon Fund, to which it is by far the biggest donor.

The aid that Brazil receives depends on the results of works to curb deforestation and for 2018 the funding would amount to some 300 million Norwegian crowns ($33.27 million), but Norway will not proceed with the payment, the ministry confirmed to Reuters.

The amount was approximate and a preliminary calculation, a ministry spokeswoman said. Ola Elvestuen, Norway´s environment minister, told newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv the funding will not take place as Brazil has broken its agreement with Norway and Germany by closing down the board of the Amazon Fund and its Technical Committee.

Last month, Norway expressed alarm over accelerating destruction of the Amazon and concern for the future of a Brazilian rainforest protection fund.

Brazil is home to 60% of the Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest, which is seen as vital to countering global warming. ($1 = 9.0176 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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