German aid official says he doesn’t plan to quit Amazon Fund

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s top aid official says he has no plans to stop financing projects intended to protect the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, despite another German government ministry’s decision to put other funds on hold.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said Saturday she was freezing about 35 million euros ($39.6 million) earmarked for biodiversity projects in Brazil because of the South American country’s alleged lack of commitment to curbing logging in the Amazon, a key absorber of greenhouse gases.

But Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development, Gerd Mueller, said Monday that “anyone who wants to preserve the unique climate function of the rainforest must strengthen these measures, not end them.”

Mueller’s ministry contributes 55 million euros ($61.7 million) to the international Amazon Fund.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responded to Schulze’s announcement by saying his country didn’t need Germany’s money.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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