US Commits $500m To Slow Brazil Deforestation

Dylan Turck
The Biden Administration has pledged $500 million to Brazil to help fight deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. The bill still needs to be passed by Congress, but Republicans are not happy about the US supplying climate aid to more foreign countries.
A truck carrying timber from a logging camp. Photo: Pok Rie | Pexels
A truck carrying timber from a logging camp. Photo: Pok Rie | Pexels

The Biden Administration has signed a bill to help fight the rapid deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. The bill has pledged $500 million in aid over the next five years to the Amazon Fund.

The Amazon Fund is a conservation project, established in 2008. The fund has supported over 100 projects in the Amazon since its inception and continues its efforts to reduce commercial activities in the area.

The current president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is a pro-environment leader that ran his election based on creating a more environmentally sustainable future for the country. He has been in several talks with the Biden Administration over the last year concerning environmental conservation.

Da Silva was the favored candidate in the 2022 election, due to him being a mirror opposite of the country’s former leader Jair Bolsonaro who green-lit massive industrial reforms in Brazil, destroying the country’s environment in the process.

America’s Constricting Policies On Foreign Environmental Aid

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C  Photo: Mike Stoll | Unsplash

Although the Biden Administration has promised aid to Brazil, the bill needs to pass in Congress first. The problem is that in recent years, democrats have lost more and more seats in Congress, which makes it harder for them to reach a majority vote on plans that the current administration has drafted.

Since Biden has come to power, there has been an increasing amount of pushback in the Senate from Republicans, with most of the bills that the administration has drafted ending up in a legislative purgatory.

This is due to the stark divide between the previous and current administrations. The Trump Administration was notorious for leaving climate change pacts with foreign countries and refusing environmental foreign aid to its partners.

The New York Times has reported that Biden has, in total, promised $11.4 billion annually in environmental aid to foreign countries but has yet to even deliver 1 billion a year due to congressional backlog and Republicans denying to allocate funds towards the projects.

The Desolation Of The Amazon Rainforest

A small waterfall in the jungle. Photo: Arnie Chou | Pexels

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, holding one third of the trees found in the tropics and spanning over nine countries, with under 60% of the Amazon residing in Brazil.

The sprawling rainforest has often been referred to as the lungs of the earth because it captures so much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it into oxygen, but despite this, there have been numerous cases of mass deforestation in the area from the industrial sectors of the country.

Since the industrialization of Brazil, nearly 18% of the Amazon has already been lost. The main threat to the Amazon is the encroachment of farms, livestock ranches, logging camps, and commercial mines. These industries have already destroyed millions of acres of the Amazon, with millions more being damaged beyond repair.

The Amazon is considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, with the rainforest supporting 3 million different species of animal and over 2500 species of tree. Majority of these plants and animals can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and many have become extinct before even being discovered.

Apart from nature, the Amazon is also home to over 1.5 million indigenous people spread over 385 different ethnicities who call the rainforest their home. There have been several incidents of indigenous groups fighting the industries that enter the Amazon, but unfortunately, very few have been successful.


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