FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon at the Bom Futuro National Forest in Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, September 3, 2015. Picture taken September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Germany will partially suspend funds sent to Brazil to finance projects aimed at preserving the Amazon forest due to increasing deforestation, Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday.
The decision reflects “great concerns with an increasing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon,” the German embassy told the newspaper, adding that the cut does not affect the Amazon Fund, to which Germany is a key donor.
Deforestation in the Brazil’s rainforest surged 67% in the first seven months of the year, according to Brazil’s space research agency, though the government has claimed the data is unreliable and misleading.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain elected last year, has long been skeptical of environmental issues, and has repeatedly said the Amazon is a resource that belongs to Brazil, which Brazilians should choose how to administer.
German diplomats did not immediately respond to Reuters request for a comment on the matter.
Reporting by Gabriela Mello; editing by Jonathan Oatis