Brazil’s environment budget to take a hit
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As Brazil braces for deep budget cuts, about the only consolation for environmental officials is this: funding for Amazon rainforest conservation might not be reduced as much as initially planned.
With good news like that, officials might wonder, who needs bad news?
But in Brazil these days, unwelcome budget news abounds. The belt-tightening, being carried out in return for emergency credit from the International Monetary Fund, looks certain to squeeze a wide array of environmental programs and projects.
Most importantly, Ibama, the agency charged with environmental enforcement, expects 1999 spending for purposes other than payroll and pensions to decline by 40%.
Overall, Brazil has promised the IMF it will free up $23.3 billion in the fiscal year that starts this month, using a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The goal is to reduce the budget deficit, now at 8% of GDP. In return, the country would receive a total of $41.5-billion in IMF-led financing to boost foreign reserves.