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Brazil launches ambitious fund for Amazon forest

Source:  Copyright 2008, Reuters
Date:  August 2, 2008
Byline:  Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Ana Nicolaci Da Costa
Original URL: Status ONLINE

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, ...

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