Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Brazil, France Allocates €1 Bln for Amazon Investment Plan

Wed 27 Mar 2024 | 09:42 AM
Israa Farhan

Brazil and France jointly announced a program aimed at preserving the Amazon rainforest, with a staggering investment of €1 billion ($1.08 billion) earmarked over the next four years.

This significant initiative was revealed during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the Brazilian city of Belem, where he engaged in discussions with Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Located at the mouth of the Amazon River in the northern state of Para, Belem is poised to host the COP30 climate summit in 2025.

The comprehensive investment plan, as outlined in a roadmap released by the French presidency, aims to mobilize "€1 billion of public and private investment over the next four years."

Macron and Lula are keen on fostering "a comprehensive public and private global investment strategy into the bio-economy" within the Brazilian and Guyanese Amazon regions.

Central to this strategy is the proposal for establishing a "carbon market" that incentivizes nations investing in natural carbon sinks.

The Amazon rainforest, renowned for its ability to absorb CO2 emissions, assumes a pivotal role in combating climate change.

Under the leadership of former President Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon witnessed a concerning surge, only to witness a dramatic halving in 2023 following enhanced environmental safeguards implemented during Lula's administration.

Highlighting their commitment to indigenous communities and local Amazon inhabitants, both nations expressed their intent to bolster support for these groups, recognizing their indispensable role in preserving biodiversity through traditional knowledge and sustainable forest management practices.

During his visit to Belem, Macron conferred France's highest honor, the Legion of Honor, upon Raoni Metuktire, a prominent figure from the indigenous Kayapo community.

Metuktire's advocacy for the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and indigenous culture earned him accolades from the French presidency.

While bilateral relations between France and Brazil have witnessed a marked improvement since the onset of Lula's presidency, several contentious issues persist.

These include discussions surrounding a proposed free-trade agreement between the European Union and the South American Mercosur bloc, alongside differences in approach towards Russia's conflict in Ukraine.

Macron, in January, articulated France's reservations regarding the EU-Mercosur deal, citing concerns about disparities in regulatory standards.

Meanwhile, Lula has advocated for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, opposing sanctions on Moscow while advocating for an immediate cease-fire.

As Macron's visit progresses, the collaborative efforts between France and Brazil extend beyond environmental initiatives, with joint endeavors including the manufacturing of submarines, underscoring the multifaceted nature of their evolving partnership.