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Brazil launches international fund to preserve Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Brazil on Friday created an international fund to fight deforestation of the Amazon and is accepting contributions to help preserve the world's largest rainforest.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
signed a decree here creating the Amazon Fund, designed to receive up to 21 billion dollars in contributions over the next 13 years.

Donations will be administered and projects monitored by a state bank, the National Economic and Social Development Banks (BNDES).

The fund will also finance conservation and durable development projects proposed by the environment ministry, officials said.

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