Rainforest near the Rio Negro in the Amazon region in Brazil

New start for the Amazon Fund Development Ministry makes 35 million euros available to protect the rainforest in Brazil

Parliamentary State Secretary Annen promises new Brazilian government support for forest and climate protection

Press release 1 January 2023 | The Development Ministry has made 35 million euros available for the Amazon Fund to protect the Amazon rainforest. The commitment was announced by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Development Ministry (BMZ) Niels Annen. One of President Lula da Silva’s first official actions since he was inaugurated yesterday was to issue a decree reinstating the steering committee of the Fund and reactivating the plan to combat deforestation. This means that the necessary basis for the German commitment via the Amazon Fund is now in place. Supporting the Amazon Fund and protecting the rainforest were also topics discussed at political talks which took place in Brazil. Annen promised the new Brazilian government support for forest protection and climate action.

River in the federal state of Amazonia, Brazil

Niels Annen said: “Brazil is a key partner for international cooperation on climate and nature protection. The new Brazilian government has ambitious plans for advancing forest and climate protection while also strengthening disadvantaged groups such as indigenous people. We are ready to help and, in a first step, are contributing 35 million euros to the Amazon Fund. But that is only the start. Decades of cooperation with Brazil mean that Germany is well positioned and able to respond swiftly in line with the priorities of the new government, working on forest conservation and sustainable forest management in cooperation with local and indigenous communities, on renewable energies or sustainable urban development. We will be talking with the new Brazilian government about ways in which we can support a socio-ecological transformation of the economy. This is about ambitious climate action and at the same time achieving more prosperity for the entire population of Brazil.”

Rainforest in Brazil

An intact Amazon region is an indispensable prerequisite to halt climate change and conserve global biodiversity. At the same time, the forest also provides the livelihood for many people. Urgent steps need to be taken to stop the drastic increase in deforestation and protect the forest. It is important that forest conservation is linked to measures that develop economic opportunities for local people.

The Amazon Fund was established in 2008 by the Brazilian government and Brazil’s development bank BNDES in order to mobilise additional funds for the protection of the Amazon region. Alongside the main donor, Norway, Germany has already contributed some 55 million euros to the Fund. The Fund had been inactive since the steering committee was dismissed by the Brazilian government in 2019. Up until then, the steering committee had consisted of representatives of civil society, the government and the federal states of the Amazon region. Yesterday, on the very day of his inauguration, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reinstated the steering committee. This means that the Fund is once again able to operate and can initiate concrete project proposals for protecting the Amazon region.

Germany and Norway had already announced that they would do everything possible to support the reactivation of the Fund following Lula’s election victory and the promising announcements that had been made regarding forest conservation. In a first step, Germany is now making an additional 35 million euros available for the Fund, thus increasing Germany’s total contribution to the Fund to some 90 million euros.

Parliamentary State Secretary Annen accompanied Federal President Steinmeier to President Lula’s inauguration ceremony in Brasília. There were also first talks with the new government on priorities and possible starting points for future development cooperation. Afterwards the delegation went on to Manaus, where they visited the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, a German-Brazilian research project. After that, the delegation visited the deforestation monitoring centre of the Brazilian federal state of Amazonas.