$1.1 billion program launched to preserve Amazon rainforest

Brazil and France have initiated a groundbreaking $1.1 billion program aimed at safeguarding the Amazon rainforest, a vital ecological asset. The investment, spanning over the next four years, comprises both public and private funds, with a focus on preserving the Brazilian and Guyanese regions of the Amazon.

$1.1 billion program launched to preserve Amazon rainforest

The announcement unfolded during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Brazil, commencing a three-day diplomatic mission. The rendezvous occurred in Belem, strategically situated near the mouth of the Amazon. President Macron was received by his Brazilian counterpart, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, marking a significant collaboration between the two nations.

In a joint statement, both leaders emphasized their commitment to fostering an international initiative dedicated to the protection of tropical forests. Their collaborative effort aims to combat deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, thereby contributing to global climate mitigation efforts. Notably, this initiative precedes Brazil’s hosting of the COP30 climate negotiations in Belen scheduled for 2025.

The presidents underscored their dedication to the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of tropical forests worldwide. They outlined an ambitious agenda, including the development of innovative financial instruments, market mechanisms, and environmental service payment frameworks.

During the visit, President Macron and President Lula embarked on a symbolic river boat journey to witness sustainable development endeavors firsthand. Their itinerary included a visit to a project focused on chocolate production located on an island near Belem, where they engaged with Indigenous leaders.

At the event, President Macron conferred the National Order of the Legion of Honor upon Chief Raoni Metuktire, a prominent Indigenous leader and environmental advocate from the Kayapo community. Chief Raoni, renowned for his environmental activism since the 1980s, voiced concerns about the proposed Ferrograo railway project. He highlighted potential adverse impacts on Indigenous communities, urging President Lula to reconsider its construction.

Despite prior environmental disputes, Franco-Brazilian relations have undergone significant reconciliation since 2019. Tensions peaked during President Jair Bolsonaro’s tenure, particularly amidst international scrutiny over Amazon fires. However, recent diplomatic efforts signify a renewed commitment to bilateral cooperation and the restoration of strategic ties between France and Brazil.