Germany pledges $222 million for Brazil environment, Amazon

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. dissolve / dɪˈzɒlv / (v.) – to officially put an end to something such as an organization or a legal arrangement

    After running the firm together for several years, the managers decided to dissolve their partnership.

  2. perspective / pərˈspɛk tɪv / (n.) – a particular way of thinking about or considering something

    Different industry leaders shared their perspectives at the global warming conference.

  3. agribusiness / ˈæg rəˌbɪz nɪs / (n.) – a business connected with producing, processing, and selling agricultural or farm products

    Since he grew up on a farm, he started his own agribusiness.

  4. indigenous / ɪnˈdɪdʒ ə nəs / (adj.) – referring to people who originally live in a place or region

    There are still some indigenous tribes who have not yet seen the modern world.

  5. buffer / ˈbʌf ər / (n.) – something that protects another thing from harm

    I’m glad that we have a tent as a buffer against the heat of the sun.


Read the text below.

German development minister Svenja Schulze announced that her government will make 204 million euros ($222 million) available for environmental policies in Brazil.

Of this total, $38 million is a donation to the Amazon Fund, Schulze told reporters in capital Brasilia. It is the most important international cooperation effort to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and is mostly funded by Norway. In 2019, former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who considered the Amazon an internal affair, dissolved the steering committee that selects sustainable projects to finance. In reaction, Germany and Norway froze their donations.

“With the new government and the team of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and (environment) minister Marina Silva, we have a great chance to protect the forest and to offer a new perspective to the people who live there,” Schulze said.

Under Bolsonaro, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon reached a 15-year high as he dismantled environmental protection policies in favor of agribusiness expansion.

Germany also pledged to provide $87 million in low-interest loans for farmers to restore degraded areas and $34 million for Amazon states to protect the rainforest.

“Despite all the difficulties, the increase in deforestation, the land grabbing, the fires, the dire state of the Indigenous populations, we see this as an opportunity to reverse this whole situation,” Silva said during the press conference.

Lula, who took office in January, pledged to end all deforestation by 2030. His four-year term ends in December 2026.

The Amazon, which covers an area twice the size of India, acts as a buffer against climate change because its trees absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, and roughly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest lies in Brazil. It is also the most biodiverse forest in the world and holds 20% of the world’s fresh water.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Norway and Germany froze their donations when Bolsonaro dissolved the committee that selects sustainable Amazon projects to finance. Do you agree with their decision? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Roughly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest lies in Brazil. Should the Amazon’s preservation be a responsibility of Brazil or an international effort? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The Amazon suffered from a 15-year high in deforestation because of dismantled environmental protection policies in favor of agribusiness expansion. Do you think there are times when it is acceptable to favor agribusiness expansion over environmental protection? Discuss.
  • Do you think the Amazon deforestation can be successfully combated by 2030? Why or why not? Discuss.