Brazil: 'Gringos' Must Pay to Keep Rainforests

Industrialized nations have done most damage to Amazon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 26, 2009 8:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Brazil's president says "gringos" should pay Amazon nations to prevent deforestation, insisting rich Western nations have caused much more past environmental destruction than the loggers and farmers who cut and burn trees in the world's largest tropical rain forest.

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"I don't want any gringo asking us to let an Amazon resident die of hunger under a tree," Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said ahead of an Amazon summit. "We want to preserve, but they will have to pay the price for this preservation because we never destroyed our forest like they mowed theirs down a century ago." In Brazil, the word "gringo" does not only mean American, but generally refers to anyone from the northern hemisphere. (Read more Amazon rainforest stories.)

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