Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched an international fund
on Friday to finance conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon as
deforestation rates rise.
The fund will support forest conservation, scientific research and sustainable
development projects, such as rubber tapping, forestry management or developing
drugs from plants.
"We are conscious of what the Amazon represents for the world," Lula said during
an inauguration ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
"It's better for the country's image to do things right, so we can walk in
international forums with our heads high," Lula said.
The government hopes to raise $1 billion within one year and as much as $21
billion by 2021, according to Brazil's National Development Bank (BNDES), which
will manage the fund.
It is open to companies, countries and nongovernmental organizations.
In September, ...