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France & Brazil Jointly Announce One Billion Euros Funding To Protect Amazon Rainforest

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France and Brazil announced a four-year investment plan worth one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in public and private funding to preserve the Brazilian and Guyanese Amazon rainforest on Tuesday.

The declaration was made during French President Emmanuel Macron’s three-day visit, starting on Tuesday, to the South American nation. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva welcomed Macron upon his arrival in Belem, close to the mouth of the Amazon.

“Gathered in Belem, in the heart of the Amazon, we, Brazil and France, Amazonian countries, have decided to join forces to promote an international roadmap for the protection of tropical forests,” they said in a joint statement.

“The presidents expressed their commitment to the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of the world’s tropical forests and agreed to work on an ambitious agenda, including … developing innovative financial instruments, market mechanisms, and payments for environmental services,” the statement said.

Two years before Brazil holds the COP30 climate negotiations in Belen, Brazil, in 2025, they have committed to cooperating to eliminate deforestation in the Amazon by 2030 in an effort to slow down global warming.

Macron and Lula met with Indigenous leaders on an island close to Belem, where they visited, by a riverboat, a sustainable development project for making chocolate.

Raoni Metuktire, an environmental advocate and leader of the Kayapo people, was awarded the National Order of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit, by President Macron during the ceremony in recognition of his efforts to safeguard Indigenous rights and the rainforest.

With artist Sting at his side, Chief Raoni became a global political icon in the 1980s for campaigning. He gave Macron documents criticizing the environmental effects a proposed railway supported by soy growers will have on Indigenous people, whom he claimed have not been freely consulted.

Raoni requested that Lula refuse to allow the construction of the 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) Ferrograo railroad, which would reduce the cost of grain delivery for agribusiness from the farm state of Mato Grosso to river ports in the Amazon and beyond to foreign markets.

Relations between France and Brazil have improved despite previous environmental conflicts, which peaked in 2019 when Macron spearheaded international pressure on then-President Jair Bolsonaro over the Amazon fires. Bolsonaro claimed that Brazil was being treated like “a colony” by Macron and the other G7 nations.

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