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Cablegate: South America Esth News, Number 96

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RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
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FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9318
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
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RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0103
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RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6936
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 16 BRASILIA 001185

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS USAID TO LAC/RSD, LAC/SAM, G/ENV, PPC/ENV
TREASURY FOR USED IBRD AND IDB AND INTL/MDB
USDA FOR FOREST SERVICE: LIZ MAHEW
INTERIOR FOR DIR INT AFFAIRS: K WASHBURN
INTERIOR FOR FWS: TOM RILEY
INTERIOR FOR NPS: JONATHAN PUTNAM
INTERIOR PASS USGS FOR INTERNATIONAL: J WEAVER
JUSTICE FOR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES: JWEBB
EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL: CAM HILL-MACON
USDA FOR ARS/INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH: G FLANLEY
NSF FOR INTERNATIONAL: HAROLD STOLBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAGR EAID TBIO ECON SOCI XR BR
SUBJECT: SOUTH AMERICA ESTH NEWS, NUMBER 96

BRASILIA 00001185 001.2 OF 016


1. The following is the ninety-sixth in a series of newsletters,
published by the Brasilia Regional Environmental Hub, covering
environment, science and technology, and health news in South
America. The information below was gathered from news sources from
across the region, and the views expressed do not necessarily
reflect those of the Hub office or our constituent posts.
Addressees who would like to receive a user-friendly email version
of this newsletter should contact Larissa Stoner at
stonerla@state.gov. The e-mail version also contains a calendar of
upcoming ESTH events in the region. NOTE: THE NEWSLETTER IS NOW
ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE BRASILIA INTRANET PAGE, BY CLICKING ON THE
'HUB' LINK.

2. Table of Contents

Agriculture
--(3)Brazilian Agro-Power Heats Up

Health
--(4)Chile Opens First Public Stem Cell Bank

Water Issues
--(5)Amazon the World's Longest River, Claim Brazilian Scientists

Forests
--(6)Google to Harness Satellite Power for an Amazon Tribe
--(7)Peru: Harmonizing USG Cooperation in Forestry Sector
--(8)Brazilwood Gets Global Protection
--(9)Green Gold: How a Brazilian Forest of Rubber Trees Is Bouncing
Back

Wildlife
--(10)Chile Researchers Help Repopulate Llamas in Patagonia
--(11)Suriname: Psychedelic Purple versus the Luster of Gold

Science & Technology
--(12)Venezuela Invigorates Gambian Science
--(13)Brazil is out of ISS Project
--(14)Foreigners have more patents than Nationals in Colombia
--(15)Venezuelan R&D Investment Increases Fivefold

Pollution

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--(16)Pollution Crisis: Santiago's Air Worst of Last Eight Years
--(17)Chile: Toxic Runoff Devastates Region VII River

Climate Change
--(18)World Bank Targets Forest Preservation-Climate Link
--(19)Amazon State Adopts Brazil's First Global Warming Law

Energy
--(20)Brazil to Assist Paraguay in Exporting Biofuels
--(21)Colombia and Cuba Sign Energy Cooperation Agreement
--(22)Chile's Search for a Diversified Energy Matrix
--(23)The Madeira Complex: International Banks to Fund Deforestation
and Displacement

General
--(24)Guyana: Payment for Ecosystem Services Is Golden Opportunity,
Seminar Told
--(25)Brazil Bars USAID-Sponsored Project under Alleged Suspicion of
NGO Actions in the Amazon
--(26)Partnerships from Five Nations Receive 2007 Seed Awards for
Innovation in Local Sustainable Development
--(27)Brazil Federal Prosecutors Ask State to Suspend Alcoa's
Bauxite Mining License


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Agriculture
-----------

3. Brazilian Agro-Power Heats Up

MAY 28, 2007 - Brazil, one of the world's agricultural superpowers,
will see changes in the map of its emblematic crops, like coffee and
soybeans, as a result of global climate change, says the latest
research. Even the most optimistic scenarios outlined in the
studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
predict that the thermometer will keep rising and will alter the
rainfall patterns over much of South America. Agro-meteorological
researcher Moacir Antonio Berlato, from the agronomy department at
the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, says that various
studies have already shown that warming is affecting farming
practices across the southeastern region of the South American

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continent. In the coming decades, grain crops will be increasingly
difficult to grow in southern Brazil, while perennials like coffee
will tend to prefer zones with more moderate temperatures, which
means the center of production could shift to the south, according
to an Embrapa (government's agricultural research agency) study.
Excessive heat in the southern hemisphere summer will likely push
production of crops like rice, beans, maize and soy towards Brazil's
central-west.

Source - Tierramerica

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Health
------

4. Chile Opens First Public Stem Cell Bank

MAY 30, 2007 - A new public stem cell bank that collects and freezes
blood from umbilical cord donations will now be available for users
of Chile's public healthcare system. The new center, named the Bank
of Life, is a joint operation run by the Catholic University of
Chile and the Genomika Foundation. Experts expect the new the
center to greatly aid in the treatment of some of the sickest
patients in the country. Blood from umbilical cords contains stem
cells that are frequently used to treat blood diseases, and the
center's opening marks the first time in Chile that donated matter
will be available to patients in the public health care system.
Three private umbilical cord blood banks already exist in the
country, but users pay a monthly fee to preserve the samples. These
stem cells are only available to family members of the original
donor. The new center will be financed by private donations of both
umbilical cord blood and the money to finance the center. The stem
cells will be made available to any patient in need of the high tech
treatment.

Source - Santiago Times (no link)

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Water Issues
------------

5. Amazon the World's Longest River, Claim Brazilian Scientists

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June 17, 2007 - The claim follows an expedition to Peru that is said
to have established a new starting point further south and it puts
the Amazon at 6.800km compared to the Nile's 6,695km. The new claim
in Brazil follows an expedition by scientists which is said to have
discovered a new source for the Amazon in the south of Peru and not
the north of the country as had been thought for many years. While
the exact location has yet to be confirmed from two choices,
scientists say either would make the river the longest in the world.
The Amazon is now said to begin in an ice-covered mountain in
southern Peru called Mismi. Researchers traveled for 14 days,
sometimes in freezing temperatures, to establish the location at an
altitude of 5,000m. The research was coordinated by the National
Geographical Institute of Peru, with the help of their colleagues in
Brazil.

Source - MercoPress

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Forests
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6. Google to Harness Satellite Power for an Amazon Tribe

June 10, 2007 - When the Brazilian government failed to defend his
tribe against loggers and miners, the leader found a high-tech ally.
Amazon Chief Almir Surui knew it was the first step in his struggle
to forge an alliance he hopes will save his 1,200-member tribe.
Almir says loggers and miners have already killed 11 Surui chiefs --
Surui is both the common surname and name of the tribe -- who tried
to prevent them from entering their lands over the past five years,
and he says Brazilian government officials have failed to stop the
violence. So the 32-year-old indigenous leader, a stocky man who
often dons a headdress made from feathers of Amazonian birds, opted
for another route -- an appeal to Google. During his visit to the
Bay Area late last month, Almir, the first Surui to graduate from
college, asked the folks at Google Earth for high-quality satellite
imagery that would allow the tribe to monitor loggers and miners,
who have no legal right to operate on the tribe's 600,000-acre
reserve. His plea fell on receptive ears with company officials in
Mountain View, who are now at work on a plan to let the Surui use
Google's technology to raise awareness of their plight by working

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with satellite providers to vastly improve image resolution.

NOTE: Chief Almir Surui's recent visit to the US was sponsored by
the USG through the International Visitor's Program. He was
nominated by USAID/Environment Brazil.

Source - SF Gate

7. Peru: Harmonizing USG Cooperation in Forestry Sector

JUNE 15, 2007 - With some of the most diverse ecosystems in the
world, Peru seeks to find a balance between protecting its
environment and deriving economic benefits from its natural
resources. As a vote in the U.S. Congress on the U.S.-Peru Trade
Promotion Agreement (PTPA) approaches, the Government of Peru will
need to address implementation of the agreement's environmental
chapter, in particular amendments on illegal logging. In order to
harmonize the array of environmental programs offered by various USG
agencies, representatives of USAID, the Foreign Agricultural Service
(FAS) and ECON met with senior INRENA (GOP's National Natural
Resource Institute) officials on June 1 to present and discuss USG
forestry cooperation and assistance in Peru. Post is developing a
coordinated strategy for assistance to the Peruvian forestry sector
which includes the following: USAID-funded activities in voluntary
forest certification, forestry rule of law, INRENA institutional
capacity building, and protected areas management; USDA support for
providing PL 480 Title I resources to fund specific projects in the
areas of voluntary forest certification, community management and
reforestation, forestry rule of law, and institutional capacity
building; and State to fund environmental law enforcement training.


Source - LIMA 2099

8. Brazilwood Gets Global Protection

JUN. 07, 2007 - The iconic tree that gave Brazil its name and the
world's violinists their bows [recently] got extra protection to
prevent it from sliding toward extinction. But the conference that
overwhelmingly supported protecting brazilwood, or pau brasil in
Portuguese, rejected similar moves for three other South American
tropical trees - the Spanish cedar and two species of rosewood.

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Brazil welcomed support for its plan to regulate trade in brazilwood
timber by delegates at the triennial meeting of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES. The plan will
protect the tree - known for its hard, blood-red wood - while
allowing it to "continue to be used to delight us in the hands of
inspired musicians and orchestras across the world," said Fernando
Coimbra, head of the Brazilian delegation.

Source - Miami Herald

9. Green Gold: How a Brazilian Forest of Rubber Trees Is Bouncing
Back

MAY 30, 2007 - In the 19th century, Brazil dominated the global
market in natural rubber - but not any more. The country now
accounts for less than 1 per cent of world production, and the
reason is a fungus called Microcyclus ulei, which attacks the leaves
of rubber trees. It has caused a massive fall in latex production.
Scientists believe it is only a matter of time before the fungus
spreads to the big rubber plantations of South-east Asia, which
would affect anyone who uses rubber products - and that's just about
everyone. After two decades of research into resistant varieties of
rubber trees, scientists in France and Brazil believe they could now
be on the verge of a breakthrough. They have selectively bred more
than a dozen varieties of rubber tree that appear to resist fungal
infections well enough for the trees to thrive. Field trials
suggest that a handful of these varieties may be good enough to
bring rubber production in Brazil up to the levels enjoyed in Asia.

Source - Independent

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Wildlife
--------

10. Chile Researchers Help Repopulate Llamas in Patagonia

JUNE 15, 2007 - Chilean investigators are working with Brigham Young
University to genetically select the best and most productive
characteristics of Chile's llama population. Their aim is to
ultimately repopulated Chile's southern Patagonia with llamas, which
could become an economic resource for the region and also contribute

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to halting the erosion of Patagonia's fragile soil, which llama
hooves do not wear down. The Chilean Institute of Farming
Investigations in the Agricultural Ministry has been working with
Brigham Young University since 2005 in a genetics project that aims
to identify a series of related molecular markers in llamas with
valuable characteristics. The valuable characteristics include
reproductive capabilities, resistance to disease, quality of fiber,
and growth rate, among other things. If successful, the geneticists
could help developed some of the finest wools in the world. The end
result of genetically-enhanced llamas will eventually be
reintroduced to the Patagonian lands of their natural-born
ancestors.

Source - Santiago Times (no link)

11. Suriname: Psychedelic Purple versus the Luster of Gold

JUNE 14, 2007 - The discovery of 24 new animal species by Surinamese
and American scientists, including a frog with psychedelic purple
markings, has given Suriname world-wide attention, as reported in
over 150 newspapers and journals. These articles have also
highlighted the threat to Suriname's highly diverse ecosystem from
mercury pollution caused by illegal gold mining. The study that led
to the discoveries was carried out by Conservation International
(CI) and was paid for, by bauxite mining companies Suralco and
BHP-Billiton, who are looking into the environmental impact of
mining in their concession area. Community conscious Suralco looks
to be a good corporate citizen, while illegal gold miners continue
to pollute the area.

Source - PARAMARIBO 303.

--------------------
Science & Technology
--------------------

12. Venezuela Invigorates Gambian Science

JUNE 06, 2007 - The Governments of Gambia and Venezuela have
finalized a five-year agreement to cooperate on improving research
and development in agriculture, health, and energy sectors in the
African country. The agreement, finalized during the Gambian

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president's tour of South America last month, will see Venezuela
providing funds, technicians and researchers to the Gambia, and
encourage cooperation between public research institutions,
universities and private enterprises in the two countries. Venezuela
will also help improve infrastructure in institutions such as the
University of The Gambia. The agreement - now in effect - was
ratified by members of the Gambia National Assembly in April.

NOTE From US Embassy Caracas: The Venezuelan government frequently
signs these types of cooperation agreements, but rarely follows
through with much of what it promises.

Source - SciDev

13. Brazil is out of ISS Project

MAY 31, 2007 - Brazil is no longer an active participant in the
International Space Station (ISS) project, said John Logsdon,
director of the George Washington University Space Policy Institute
and a NASA advisor. "Although it is unlikely that NASA will take any
formal action to cancel its contract with the Brazilian Space
Agency, Brazil no longer appears [in NASA documents] as an ISS
contributor," he was quoted as saying. The press report explains
how Brazil failed to provide any of the ISS equipment described in a
1997 agreement with NASA, at an estimated cost of USD 120 million.
Logsdon also reportedly said that Brazil's inability to meet its
obligations and the fact that Brazil paid Russia to fly its
astronaut left a "bad taste in the mouth" of NASA officials. The
Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) made the following statement in the
story: "[AEB] and Itamaraty are beginning negotiations with NASA and
the U.S. State Department towards a new state of cooperation between
Brazil and the United States, which had, at a certain time, a
setback because of the problem with the U.S. participation in [the
Brazilian satellite launch base at] Alcantara. ... AEB isn't just
interested in participating in the ISS project, but also [more
broadly]. Brazil and the United States have come closer together and
the terms of a new agreement could be broader."

Source - Public Affairs US Embassy Brasilia

14. Foreigners have more patents than Nationals in Colombia


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June 02, 2007 - Ninety-three percent of patent requests in Colombia
are from entities from outside the country, according to the head of
the Industrial Property of the Superintendence for Industry and
Commerce, Giancarlo Marcenaro Jimenez. In 2006, his office received
2,003 requests, of which 1,862 were foreign and only 141 (7 percent)
were presented by residents. This reflects a growing interest from
foreign companies towards Colombia, but also the lack of knowledge
of national firms to legalize their own creations and little
technological innovation in the country. According to Jimenez, few
people working with innovation and development are aware that they
can protect their work results through patents. Jimenez also
pointed out that Colombians have a discount in fees charged for
patenting, which should motivate more national requests.

Source - SciDev

15. Venezuelan R&D Investment Increases Fivefold

MAY 29, 2007- A Venezuelan law, which requires companies to
contribute part of their annual income to science, technology and
innovation programs, has increased investment in scientific research
and development fivefold. Hector Navarro, Venezuela's Minister of
Science and Technology, announced the news at a press conference on
May 18. Navarro said that 4,579 out of 6,649 eligible public and
private companies - those with annual gross revenues above USD 1.5
million - were forced by law to contribute 0.5-2 per cent of their
annual gross income to the country's scientific development. The
funds were collected for the first time in January, based on profit
calculations for 2005. Navarro says the companies have contributed
approximately USD 2.5 billion, increasing the investment in research
and development to 2.11 per cent - up from 0.45 per cent in 2005 -
of gross domestic product.
The total investment greatly exceeded the expectations of Venezuelan
science authorities, who had calculated the companies' contribution
to be about USD 860 million.

Source - SciDev

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Pollution
---------


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16. Pollution Crisis: Santiago's Air Worst of Last Eight Years

JUNE 15, 2007 - Santiago's air pollution problem has reached
critical mass. With the worst pollution months of July and August
yet to come, Santiago has already registered more "high risk"
pollution days than all of 2006. May 12 was the single worst day in
the last eight years, according to Chile's National Commission of
the Environment. Santiago's Pollution Plan to solve this annual
problem has had a rough go of things, due to problems with the
pollution measuring system, a lack of personnel to enforce the
restrictions, and a lack of rain. Santiago's population is
experiencing high rates of respiratory problems. Many Chile's
government officials have been reduced to praying for rain as a
means to fight pollution.

Source - SANTIAGO 977

17. Chile: Toxic Runoff Devastates Region VII River

JUNE 8, 2007 - Authorities in Region VII declared an environmental
state of emergency at the Mataquito River due to a toxic runoff that
has killed thousands of fish and birds. The likely source of the
pollution is a pulp plant located near the town of Licancel. The
plant is owned and operated by forestry giant CELCO, a Chilean-owned
company with a dismal environmental record. On June 6 the regional
health ministry imposed a fishing ban and warned people not to eat
any fish caught in the highly contaminated river. This is not the
first time for CELCO, in 2004 the company caused a disaster of
immeasurable proportions in Region XIV's Carlos Anwandter Wetland
Sanctuary, where thousands of black-necked swans died and/or
migrated away because of pulp plant poisoning. Autopsies conducted
on the dead swans attributed their demise to alarmingly high
concentrations of iron and other metals in the water. The chemical
change in the polluted area was so extreme it altered the color of
the water and killed off the swans' lichen food source.

Source - Santiago Times (no link)

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Climate Change
--------------


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18. World Bank Targets Forest Preservation-Climate Link

June 11, 2007 - The global effort to stem climate change could soon
include paying countries in the tropical belt to not cut down their
rain forests, beginning with a World Bank pilot project. The World
Bank is planning to start a USD 250 million investment fund to
reward countries such as Indonesia, Brazil and Congo for "avoided
deforestation." The Group of Eight leading nations, after meeting
in Germany, concluded that stopping deforestation could provide a
"significant and cost-effective contribution toward mitigating
greenhouse-gas emissions" and encouraged the development of the
World Bank's project. Many details of the project remain to be
ironed out. The World Bank hopes Group of Eight nations will supply
most of the USD 250 million, Mr. Bosquet said. The bank will work
with governments, local communities and nongovernmental
organizations to set guidelines on how to monitor projects and make
sure money will be channeled only to those that strictly protect
forested areas. To qualify, governments also will have to sign up
to nationwide-action plans combating issues such as illegal logging.


Source - World Bank (please contact Larissa Stoner for complete
article)

19. Amazon State Adopts Brazil's First Global Warming Law

JUNE 5, 2007 - Brazil's sprawling Amazon state enacted the country's
first law to fight global warming by selling carbon credits from
communities that limit deforestation and environmental degradation.
The law creates a "jungle fund" or "forest scholarship" that
"rewards jungle communities for protecting their habitat and
reducing deforestation," said Amazon Governor Eduardo Braga. Under
the scheme, countries and businesses with high levels of pollution
can invest in the fund and receive carbon credits from local
communities that agree to curb deforestation, Amazon Environmental
Secretary Virgilio Viana told reporters. He said the state, which

SIPDIS
accounts for one third of Brazil's vast Amazon jungle, hopes to
build the fund to 300 million dollars, with 30 million a year going
to some 60,000 families in the region by 2010. Currently 8,500
families are listed to benefit. The law was welcomed by
environmental groups who hoped it will "set a vital example" for
Brazil's federal government to follow, said Greenpeace's regional

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director Paulo Adario.

Source - YahooNews

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Energy
------

20. Brazil to Assist Paraguay in Exporting Biofuels

MAY 30, 2007- Paraguay's Minister of Industry and Commerce Jose
Maria Ibanez stated that his country wishes to export biofuels with
the support from Brazil in order to strengthen its production. "We
are building together a new scenario by becoming a region that
exports renewable energy instead of importing petroleum," stated
Ibanez at the end of the Paraguay-Brazil Biofuels Seminar, held in
Asuncion May 21. The heads of state from both Brazil and Paraguay
were present at the event, where they signed a Memorandum of
Understanding on the production of biofuels. The Ministry of
Industry and Commerce also took the opportunity to announce the
creation of a National Institute for Biofuels, which will regulate
norms and guarantee the quality of the product.

Source - SciDev

21. Colombia and Cuba Sign Energy Cooperation Agreement

JUNE 08, 2007 - On May 22, The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) of
Colombia and the Ministry of Basic Industry of Cuba signed a
three-year agreement for energy cooperation aimed at developing
alternative energy sources and improving efficiency in both
countries. There are no commercial provisions in the accord.
Rather, the agreement calls for the promotion of energy efficiency
and development of renewable energy sources through academic,
cultural and technical exchanges. Biofuels exchanges figure
prominently as Cuba seeks to jump-start its ethanol industry with
support from Colombia, as well as Venezuela.

Source - BOGOTA 00004172

22. Chile's Search for a Diversified Energy Matrix


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JUNE 07, 2007 - The Achilles heel of Chile's economy is its need to
import 90 percent of its energy. There is no immediate solution to
that dependency, but the Government of Chile is looking at creative
and environmentally-sound ways to address this weakness.
Diversification is one part of the solution. For example, draft
legislation would require that at least five percent of Chile's
energy come from renewable sources by 2010. In addition to
renewable sources, there is some interest in nuclear energy as part
of the long-term solution. At the same time, Chile's chronic energy
problems must contend with a new Environmental Ministry not willing
to fast-track energy projects.

Source - SANTIAGO 914

23. The Madeira Complex: International Banks to Fund Deforestation
and Displacement

MAY 15, 2007- Along the Madeira, the second-largest tributary to the
Amazon, local communities are facing the proposed construction of
the Santo Antonio and Jirau dams, part of the Madeira River Complex.
The project has received a commitment of partial funding from the
Brazilian national bank Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento (BNDES)
and forms part of the portfolio of 335 internationally-financed
megaprojects known as IIRSA (the Initiative for the Integration of
Regional Infrastructure of South America). The Madeira Complex
includes four dam projects: two in Brazil, one binational dam
between Brazil and Bolivia, and one in Bolivia. The Santo Antonio
and Jirau dams would produce 3,150 and 3,300 megawatts of
hydroelectricity respectively for the energy-deficient urban area of
Sao Paulo. The total cost for the two dams alone is calculated at
USD 9 billion. Locks built to control the flow of water through the
dams and dredging at the head of the 3,380-km river would also
expand transport of soy, timber, and minerals along the Madeira,
integrating a waterway that extends from the Peruvian and Bolivian
Andes to the Atlantic port of Belem. According to local leaders in
Porto Velho, Brazil, the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of
Santo Antonio and Jirau ignores the indirect and regional
environmental and social impacts for local populations downriver,
such as sediment and mercury accumulation, and diminished fish
breeds. Instead, the EIA takes into account only direct impacts
surrounding the urban municipality of Porto Velho and nearby areas.


BRASILIA 00001185 014.2 OF 016

Source - Americas IRC Online

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General
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24. Guyana: Payment for Ecosystem Services Is Golden Opportunity,
Seminar Told

JUNE 14, 2007 - Payment for ecosystem services is a golden
opportunity for the Guiana Shield (Suriname, French Guiana and
Guyana) and Guyana has many natural assets so Guyanese should
develop long-term strategic ways to take advantage of this, a noted
Costa Rican environmentalist says. According to Carlos Manuel
Rodriguez, Regional Vice President of Conservation International
(CI) and former Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy,
policy initiatives by governments and mechanisms that offer Payment
for Ecosystem Services (PES) aid in environmental sustainability.
These were some of the views he expressed at the half-day seminar at
Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel. There were working session discussions on
presentations on 'PES in Costa Rica: Conservation and Rural
Development' by Rodriguez and 'Payment for Ecosystem Services:
Shared Agenda between Conservation and Development' by Rosimeiry
Portela from CI. Conservation International (CI) Guyana hosted the
afternoon seminar which saw participation by environmentalists,
government officials, including Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and
Presidential Adviser Navin Chandarpal, and representatives from the
diplomatic community.

Source - Stabroek News

25. Brazil Bars USAID-Sponsored Project under Alleged Suspicion of
NGO Actions in the Amazon

MAY 31, 2007 - A two-page spread in Correio, the main daily in the
federal capital, claimed that the Brazilian Foreign Ministry has
just blocked the Amazon Basin Conservation Initiative (ABCI), a
project sponsored by the USAID, under suspicion that participating
NGOs would be involved in espionage. Story carries a Q&A interview
with Brazilian General Maynard Marques Santa Rosa, Secretary for
International Affairs with the Defense Ministry, who is reportedly

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preparing a dossier on the issue for Itamaraty. "Some of these NGOs
are used, quite easily and cheaply, as instruments for intelligence
gathering by foreign intelligence agencies. This is known because
the secret services of the United Kingdom and of the United States
have been working in this region," Gen. Santa Rosa is quoted as
saying. Story notes that the general took a course on "policy and
strategy" at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania in 1988-89.
According to the daily, "That's where he detected for the first time
the foreign interests on the Brazilian Amazon, where, according to
his estimates, there are 100,000 NGOs of all kinds operating without
any control from the Brazilian government."

Source - Public Affairs US Embassy Brasilia

26. Partnerships from Five Nations Receive 2007 Seed Awards for
Innovation in Local Sustainable Development

MAY 30, 2007 - The global community of organizations and agencies
that constitute the Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and
Development (Seed) Initiative announced the winners of the 2007 Seed
Awards. The South America winners are: In Brazil, Projeto Bagagem,
which creates unique travel packages that give visitors a first-hand
look at local development initiatives and nature reserves in a novel
approach to community-based ecotourism; In Ecuador, a partnership
operating in the Andes has reintroduced native cereal and tuber
crops that diversify food production, improve local food security
and reduce soil degradation. The partnership then sells surplus
yield through a women's organization it has created in three
communities resulting in new economic, financial and marketing
engines for the area; In Peru, T'ikapapa links small-operation
potato farmers also in the Andes with high-value niche markets in
urban centers. T'ikapapa promotes biodiversity conservation and
environmentally friendly potato production techniques while giving
farmers open access to technological assistance and innovation,
encouraging local farmer's associations and propagating the flow of
market information. Over the next 12 months, each of the five Seed
Award recipients will receive targeted support services specifically
designed to expand and extend their activities, turning them from a
good project idea into a socially, economically and environmentally
sustainable enterprise.

Source - USG Sustainable Development Program

BRASILIA 00001185 016.2 OF 016

27. Brazil Federal Prosecutors Ask State to Suspend Alcoa's Bauxite
Mining License

MAY 29, 2007- The federal prosecutor's office in the eastern Amazon
state of Para May 21 asked the state governor to suspend Alcoa
Aluminum's license to extract bauxite in a planned open-pit mine
because of environmental irregularities. The prosecutor's office
alleged in an official letter sent to the governor that Alcoa
workers doing ground-leveling and other mining site preparations
have contaminated streams with untreated human fecal waste. As a
result, hepatitis is on the rise in nearby villages that get their
drinking water from those streams. The prosecutor's office also
contends that the environmental license for the mine should have
been issued by IBAMA, the Environment Ministry's licensing agency,
and not Sectam, the Para state environmental licensing agency,
because the environmental impact of Alcoa's bauxite mining
operations will extend beyond Para state and into neighboring state
of Maranhao.

Source - BNA

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