THE AMAZON FUND, Part II

NGOs ‘set fire’ to Bolsonaro government after losing money and power

The end of the big money for NGOs coincided with accusations that the Amazon was on fire, although Brazil’s 2,000 fire outbreaks were far from 7,000 in Angola and 3,000 in Congo, Africa.

Two dozen contracts between NGOs and the Amazon Fund, to which the column had access, are shocking. R$11.6 million was paid to three NGOs (IBAM, IPAM and TNT Brazil), without accountability or proof of project implementation.

Besides the lack of invoices and receipts, BNDES, always lenient in the Fund’s management, did not attest to the effectiveness of the projects contracted.

In the delinquent register, the acronym NGO Ibam earned R$18.8 million to “Support the strengthening of environmental management” blábláblá.

Despite INPE’s expertise and structure, TNT Brasil had R$16 million to “monitor deforestation by satellite images”.

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute earned R$25 million to basically “teach” those who live in the Amazon to take care of it.

Deforestation hit record during Lula government 

125,000 km2 deforested in eight years without protest from NGOs and international leaders

INPE´s data reveal that the Amazon had 125,000 square kilometers deforested in the 8 years of the Lula administration. The record was in 2004, when INPE registered deforestation of 27.7 thousand square kilometers, equivalent to the state of Alagoas in just one year, without any protests from European NGOs or leaders. The Imazon Institute says that in the last 12 months have been deforested 5,000 km2, 66% less than the annual average of the Lula government. The information comes from Cláudio Humberto Column, from the Diary of Power.

The annual average of 15,600 square kilometers deforested in the Lula era fell to less than half, 6,300, between 2011 and 2018.

The lowest record of deforestation in the Legal Amazon, says INPE, occurred in 2012, when 4,500 km2 of forests were destroyed.

If it maintains the pace of the last months until the end of the year, the Bolsonaro government will have the third best result in INPE’s historical series.

The manipulation of numbers, the use of old photos or even other places, evidence the commercial or political interest in the crisis.

 

Government of Acre and the NGOs

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute earned R$25 million to basically “teach” those who live in the Amazon to take care of it.

The lack of control by environmental NGOs involved even the government of Acre, which took R$60 million from the Amazon Fund to “Support public policy for the valorization of the environmental and forest assets” and similar information. Audit by the Ministry of Environment, already held by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), pointed out a wide range of irregularities in Acre, from lack of accountability to the lack of equipment that was promised to acquire with the funds received.

Eighteen contracts were audited totaling R$252.2 million. Most NGOs spend more (up to 87%) with their members than on effective actions.

The NGO Environmental Research Institute (Ipam) spent more on “project management” (R$6.1 million) than on equipment and materials.

What is striking about auditing the contracts of NGOs operating in the Amazon is BNDES’s leniency with the serious irregularities.

 

NGOs spend millions on Amazon with themselves

Salaries and administrative expenses consume up to 90% of the resources that should go to the Amazon

The auditing of 18 contracts with NGOs, worth R$ 252.2 million, reveals that most of these resources from the Amazon Fund ended up in the pockets of people linked to the projects.

One case is exemplary: of the R$14.2 million delivered to the NGO Imazon, R$12.4 million (87% of the total) was paid to its own members. “Consulting” etc. received R$3.7 million (26.5%).

The case is with the Federal Court of Accounts(TCU), which has already appointed Minister Vital do Rêgo as examiner.

The object of the R$14.2 million project of Imazon suggests the following: “Supporting the environmental adequacy of rural properties in the Legal Amazon”.

The NGO Imazon earned R$36.6 million in three contracts with the Amazon Fund. And BNDES released the money without accountability.

Imazon received R$9.7 million to “contribute” to the “mobilization of local actors”, blábláblá, consuming 85% of the total in costs and personnel.

Asked to explain such significant expenditures with its own personnel, Imazon did not explain the proportion of expenditures but sent a note stating that “the funds were used to hire experienced technicians and researchers in their fields” and that “all accounts were approved by BNDES, the Federal Court of Accounts and independent international audits”.

 

Amazon Fund Jackpot Goes to NGOs, not to the poor

It was R$9.2 million to “strengthen the associativism” and not to improve the conditions of babaçu workers

Audit of NGO spree with money from the Amazon Fund shows absurd things, such as the R$9.2 million that would greatly improve the quality of life of women and children who live breaking babaçu coconut, a hard work. But that fortune was handed over to an NGO called the Coco Babaçu Interstate Breakers Movement Association (MIQCB), incidentally, on the list of delinquent entities. The NGO has promised to support blábláblá “agroextractive organizations”. 

Within the millionaire project there is no talk of eradicating child labor. Children begin to break babaçu coconut at age 6.

Before the millionaire “blablablá”, babaçu coconut breakers need water, light, a simple toilet, and the end of the “gourd bath”.

Six months after the release of the first installment of $ 1.5 million, reports show women without any change in the situation.

MIQCB was created to support and help breakers, but it has grown and today spends more on its own upkeep than it was originally intended.

“Indigenous” NGO took R$19 million; Indians zero

TCU deepens investigation of Amazon Fund irregularities distributed to NGOs

The technical area of the Federal Court of Accounts deepens the investigation of irregularities of the Amazon Fund money distributed by the “manager” BNDES to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Contracts are being investigated as the one which earned R$19 million to CTI NGO, dedicated to “indigenous work”. Audit of the Ministry of the Environment handed over to TCU reveals that it was not possible to find any “consultancy”, nor beneficiaries of so much money.

CTI says it has spent part of the R$19 million in events, but the audit did not prove the presence of the NGO in any of them.