Brazil plans to launch grant programme to support Amazon rainforest protection

Brazil's government recently announced plans for a new social programme, Bolsa Verde, with the aim to encourage the protection of the Amazon rainforest, as reported by Reuters. This scheme will provide additional grants to lower-income families participating in forest conservation activities.

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Environment Minister Marina Silva made the announcement, signalling a new approach to conservation efforts in Brazil. Initially, the Bolsa Verde programme will focus on the Amazon rainforest, known as the largest tropical rainforest in the world. However, Silva confirmed that there are plans to extend the programme to other biomes within Brazil, including the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado savannah.

As it stands, the programme will make payments to 30,000 families initially, though the specific launch date is yet to be confirmed. This programme bears similarities to a previous initiative that was suspended by former President Jair Bolsonaro in 2019.

Silva pointed out to reporters that “80% of protected forests are under the control of these traditional communities,” and that the Bolsa Verde programme seeks to offer financial compensation to these families for their contributions to environmental protection.

The Bolsa Verde initiative follows a recent series of plans by the government aiming to honour Brazil’s commitment to eradicate Amazon deforestation by 2030. Part of this strategy includes tightening law enforcement against environmental crimes.

However, the country’s environmental policies faced challenges last week when legislators passed bills that curtailed the powers of the environment and indigenous affairs ministries and restricted the recognition of new indigenous reserves. Despite these legislative setbacks, the Bolsa Verde programme demonstrates the country’s ongoing efforts to protect its significant rainforest regions.

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