Celebration: 15 years of the Amazon Fund

– Through 15 years, the Brazilian Amazon Fund has made invaluable contributions to support Brazil’s strategy to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable development in the Amazon. The Amazon Fund – with its high-integrity results-based model for receiving contributions, its ability to provide strategic funding for the government and civil society and its robust governance, has been an inspiration for other countries around the world, says NICFI director Andreas Dahl-Jørgensen.

The event was hosted by the Brazilian development bank BNDES, managing the Amazon Fund, and speakers included BNDES president Aloizio Mercandante, The Minister of Science and Technology, Luciana Santos, German State Secretary Niels Annen, Indigenous leader Txai Suruí and NICFI director Andreas Dahl-Jørgensen.

The President of BNDES, Aloísio Mercadante, mentioned the Fund has always been subject to intense scrutiny and highlighted that audits have revealed there are no significant problems with the fund’s management. He reiterated the importance of partnerships with Norway, Germany, the EU, the USA, and the UK, as countries understanding that addressing the climate crisis involves protecting the Amazon.

The Amazon Fund celebrates 15 years in Belem, Brazil. Credit: BNDE

Increased potential with new donors

After his election, President Lula and members of his government have pointed to the Amazon Fund as a strategically important tool in order to quickly rebuild and strengthen efforts against deforestation and creating sustainable development in the Amazon region, and they have encouraged potential donor countries to invest in the Fund. Since April this year, the US, the UK, the EU and Switzerland have all made pledges to the Amazon Fund.

Participants of the opening panel. Photo: NICFI

I believe that the Amazon Fund will not only return strengthened, but that it will also significantly increase its fundamental role in supporting strategic actions necessary for the transition to a sustainable economy, with solutions based on nature and the promotion of sociodiversity and bioeconomy, says Brazilian Minister of Environment and Climate, Marina Silva in the Amazon Fund’s annual report for 2022.

– Norway is proud of the 15 years of cooperation with Brazil. We remain committed to continue to support Brazil’s efforts to reduce deforestation and lay the foundations for a sustainable economic development in the region, says NICFI director Andreas Dahl-Jørgensen.

A vision strategy established

After the Amazon Fund was re-activated in January, the Fund’s steering committee (COFA) has met three times. At it’s most recent meeting on July 26, a strategic vision for the Amazon Fund until July 2025 was established. The strategy is closely linked to the government’s plan for reduced deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAm), with references to the coming plan the Cerrado (PPCerrado). The fund is ready and set up to support efforts at all levels in Brazil to reduce deforestation.

15 years of results

From the Amazon Fund annual report 2022. Cred: BNDES

With approximately USD 370 million (1.8 billion BRL) disbursed since the opening 15 years ago, 384 institutions have received support directly or through partners and the funds have reached 241 million beneficiaries. Results include support to 195 protected areas and 101 indigenous lands in the amazon and 75 million hectares under sustainable management. 59,000 indigenous peoples have directly benefitted from the Fund and 387 researchers and technicians involved in research, development and innovation activities have received funding, in addition to governmental programs.

For more information about the work and impact of the Amazon Fund, see the Fund’s annual report.

NICFI in Brazil

Through NICFI, Norway has a broad collaboration with Brazil on the climate and forest agenda, with efforts across all of NICFI’s seven strategic areas . In Brazil, these are connected to the priorities that have been highlighted by the Lula government after the election and incorporated in the PPCDAm. In March, the Norwegian Minister of Climate an Environment Espen Barth Eide visited Brazil. In a joint statement between minister Eide and Brazil’s Minister of Environment and Climate Marina Silva, it was highlighted that the Amazon Fund remains at the core of the bilateral climate and forest partnership.

About the Amazon Fund

The Amazon Fund is a REDD+ mechanism created to raise results-based contributions for reduced deforestation in the Amazon to finance further efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the preservation and sustainable use in the Brazilian Amazon. The Amazon Fund is managed by the Brazilian Development bank (BNDES).